I just read Brock Bishop’s unusually level-headed letter about the B.C. campfire ban (It’s Not Camping Without Weenies and S’mores, Aug. 21 Mailbox).
It seems that the B.C. government has made an annual tradition out of the ban, regardless of the moisture level of the vegetation.
Earlier this August my family camped on a certain Gulf Island where the fire risk level was medium (according to an indicator in front of an island fire station), yet the island had a fire ban in place.
Luckily for us, the provincial park where we camped somehow managed to get away with letting campers make fires in enclosed pits.
As Mr. Bishop so correctly stated, if B.C. provincial park campfires were such a high forest fire risk, the provincial parks all would have burned down during the past decades when campfires were allowed.
The B.C. government’s decision here is an all-too-common example of laying down a blanket restriction without carrying out intelligent analysis, in order to save money.
It wouldn’t take much analysis to determine that provincial park campfires do not cause forest fires, even during dry seasons — there were many of these in the past when campfires were allowed. Of course, in theory, provincial park campfires could cause forest fires, but they don’t.
It is terribly sad that in a beautiful summer family vacation destination such as B.C., children can’t happily roast marshmallows anymore at their campsites, due to thoughtless government over-regulation. I just hope that this does not lose
B.C. more money than the cost of a proper study into what historically has caused forest fires in B.C.
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