Grass fires serve no purpose
We don’t yet know how a Codroy Valley grass fire got started last week, but we do know how close it came to three family homes in the area.
Regardless if this was deliberately set or if it was an accident, we need to take from it the lesson of how fast grass fires can spread.
People do deliberately set these fires for whatever purpose, and often they keep them under control. But is it worth the risk?
The provincial government of Nova Scotia has a webpage with myths and facts about grass burning. For instance, some think burning grass improves the growth of new grass, but in fact it can reduce grass yields by 50 to 70 per cent.
Burning grass can also promote the growth of weeds, which grow best in barren soil.
In this case, the fire came dangerously close to the forest and killed several trees. It wouldn’t have been difficult to imagine the fire spreading to the forest and then to people’s homes and cabins nearby.
Luckily in this case, the Codroy Valley Fire Department was ready and able to respond to the fire. Had this happened a year ago, they might have been without a truck. The department has really pulled together in the past year and all members are to be commended for their hard work.
Even the simple act of bringing fridge magnets with emergency numbers around to all homes helped in this instance. Dwayne MacArthur knew to go straight to his fridge for the number to call.
Spending minutes fumbling through the phone book might have meant the difference between calling them on time, and calling them too late.
No matter where you live, be sure to dig deep into your wallet or purse the next time your local volunteer fire department is fundraising. They need everyone’s support.
And if you’re thinking of lighting a grass fire - please don’t. Like littering, it is a practice that is no longer acceptable. It needs to become as taboo as drinking and driving.