Dear Editor.

Lytton did not have to burn to the ground last year.

While the BC government already is busy contemplating another season of wildfires and floods, arm-chair warriors and ‘experts’ are demanding millions and billions of dollars to fight those disasters.

While it is important to reflect on past experiences and practices it is also critical to accept the reality that our climate is constantly changing, and that instead of fighting yesterday’s disasters, we are learning and adapting to address the challenges we are facing today. Higher ambient air temperatures translate into higher moisture contents producing more violent storms. Todays wildfires and ‘atmospheric rivers’ are the results of those changes.

Home ownership is a big factor in property maintenance. Owning your home is a big motivator to care for those homes, as every dollar invested is at great risk, especially for homes that are built in or near a forest. Fighting those wildfires has become a very costly undertaking, and governments are challenged to find the money to fight them.

That’s also why it would be very difficult to justify spending millions of dollars to build an educational-research facility for ‘experts’ to sit around and discuss the history of yesterday’s holy and cultural fires. Last year complacency burned a lot of homes, and there is absolutely no way taxpayers are responsible for replacing a single one of them, regardless of who owned, occupied, insured, or maintained them.

We all have to engage in fire mitigation, and there are fortunately a few and very simple things we can do without spending millions and millions of dollars and – yes – sprinklers and lawn mowers still work. A few sprinklers to keep the grass green, and lawn mowers to keep it short. A lot of properties do not get that basic care and maintenance, and two-foot-tall dry grass only needs a spark to become a dangerous and violent fire.

Andy Thomsen,
Kelowna, BC