Be fire safe please

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - Frank Likely Frankly Speak­ing Frank Likely is a re­tired Angli­can min­is­ter and past pres­i­dent of the Springhill and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Dur­ing the 80th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions at Camp Tid­nish this past Satur­day, I had the op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve boat traf­fic on the Tid­nish River. A num­ber of ves­sels trav­elled up river past the camp dur­ing the hour or so that I was there and most were trav­el­ling at a safe speed but there were sev­eral who were ei­ther un­aware that this is a posted river and has a speed limit or the op­er­a­tors sim­ply chose to ig­nore the fact.

The sign posted be­side the Camp Tid­nish dock was newly placed two years ago. It shows a speed of 15 km/h, which is the max­i­mum speed al­lowed on the river from the chan­nel en­trance by the camp, up­stream as far as the wa­ters are nav­i­ga­ble.

There are also signs posted on the Tid­nish River bridge and there should be one by the pub­lic launch ramp.

Trav­el­ling at speeds above this limit not only causes river­bank ero­sion but cre­ates haz­ards for other boaters as well as for those who have their boats moored in and along the river.

While on the sub­ject of marine safety, op­er­a­tors of per­sonal wa­ter­craft should re­mem­ber that you need a large enough ma­chine to carry an ob­server and to pick up a skier or oc­cu­pant of a towed de­vice should it be dam­aged so un­less you have a three-seater PWC, you can­not op­er­ate in this fash­ion.

Since my days con­duct­ing en­force­ment and ed­u­ca­tion pa­trols, most op­er­a­tors I ob­serve are very com­pli­ant with the Small Ves­sels Act but ev­ery now and then it helps to be re­minded.

As the Small Ves­sel Reg­u­la­tion hand­books are no longer pub­lished, (the rea­sons for which I find less than con­vinc­ing), in­di­vid­u­als can go to the Trans­port Canada web­site and look up the Small Ves­sel Reg­u­la­tions on line.

How do you cel­e­brate be­ing al­lowed to re­turn to your home af­ter more than a week of be­ing evac­u­ated out be­cause of for­est fires? Well, you set off fire crack­ers in the still tin­der dry area of course!

“There may not be woods nearby, but there are still many flammable ma­te­ri­als.”

That’s just what one fool in Wil­liam’s Lake, B.C., did this past week­end. RCMP in the com­mu­nity say they were called early Satur­day morn­ing to a res­i­dence in re­sponse to a call about fire crack­ers be­ing set off. When they ar­rived, they found sev­eral empty fire­works can­is­ters on the prop­erty and an ap­par­ently in­tox­i­cated young man who ad­mit­ted hav­ing set them off in cel­e­bra­tion of be­ing al­lowed to re­turn home.

The man faces some hefty fines for his stu­pid­ity, but I’m not sure they are stiff enough. I’d like to throw his be­hind in jail for a few days! The evac­u­a­tion order may have been lifted, but a cau­tion is still in place, and res­i­dence are still re­quited to be ready to get out again at a mo­ment’s no­tice. The dan­ger in the area is cer­tainly not past.

Fight­ing fires, of­ten caused by the care­less­ness of peo­ple, is a costly and time con­sum­ing duty that ex­pends very valu­able re­sources. The Prov­ince of Bri­tish Columbia has al­ready spend al­most a quar­ter-bil­lion dol­lars this year on fight­ing for­est fires, and the costs will only go higher as more than 125 fires still burn across the prov­ince.

Things are not quite so bad lo­cally, but it still con­cerns me when I hear the pop of fire­crack­ers go­ing off in my neigh­bour­hood in the evenings. There may not be woods nearby, but there are still many flammable ma­te­ri­als. Those re­stric­tions on burn­ing and use of fire­works are in place for a rea­son, folks; your safety and that of your prop­erty and mine.

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