Grass fires serve no pur­pose

The Southern Gazette - - EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT - Brodie Thomas, edi­tor Port aux Basques Gulf News

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.