Letter: One carelessly discarded cigarette butt away from disaster

Editor,

All the news these days concerns wildfires and the loss of life, and incredible destruction of property.

We are in another hot, dry summer in this area and an obvious increased risk of a major fire.

My concern today and for the last two years is the forested area along the Coquihalla River, downstream from the golf course bridge. There are people living under that bridge on and off and evidence of open fires in at least two places, as well as cigarette butts along the trails.

There is tinder-dry litter covering the forest floor and there are many dead and dying trees in that area. We’re just one carelessly discarded cigarette butt away from a real disaster, but Mayor Vicktor and council have done nothing, I repeat nothing, to mitigate the danger.

In response to my concerns and my request for local signs warning of fire danger, Mayor Vicktor told me in a letter dated July 7, 2015 that “adding a few local signs warning about the potential danger of fire will likely be a waste of taxpayers’ money…We have gone decades without signs as you suggest and managed thus far.”

They hope that our good luck holds for another year. So do I, but is that the best they can do? Most other municipalities in the Lower Mainland are proactive to reduce their fire risk. Do we have to have a major fire before the Mayor and council wake up and take this situation seriously?

Hartmut Schmid

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