10/19/07 — Too dry to burn: It’s not worth the risk to set fire to your brush, trash

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Too dry to burn: It’s not worth the risk to set fire to your brush, trash

A little rain does not a drought eliminate.

So, for those out there who might think that the recent open burning ban rules do not apply to them, take heed.

Do not light a fire. Not at night. Not when the neighbors are away. Not if you think there is no chance anyone will see you. Not until you get the all clear from county fire officials.

This week’s 3-acre woodland blaze might have been a misunderstanding, but it is an example of what can happen to anyone — even someone with lots of burning experience — when conditions are this dry.

Quite frankly, it is simply not worth the risk.

The little bits of rain that have occurred over the last couple of days and are predicted for a couple more will help stave off some of the water worries that are plaguing the state, but the crisis is far from over.

And tinder-box-like conditions in the state’s forests and fields are simply too risky for any sort of fire. It would only take a shift in the wind for a general yard cleanup to become a tragedy.

The danger does not just come from the fires themselves. Several firefighters died in the massive blazes in California that stemmed from someone who was careless with a flame. Fighting a blaze of any sort is nothing but dangerous. But there is also the risk that the blaze will spread to nearby homes — endangering lives.

So, if you see someone burning, turn them in to authorities immediately. This is no time for warnings.

Published in Editorials on October 19, 2007 10:50 AM