Fighting fires risky business |

Fighting fires risky business

Someone using illegal fireworks out in the wilderness might claim they're not hurting anyone. But in fact whoever set the Minnehaha Canyon fire through their recklessness did hurt someone, six someones to be precise.

That might be the argument whoever is setting the trail fires up at Lake Tahoe would come up with, but they'd be wrong. The very fact that there's an arsonist loose in the high Sierra timber is enough to give us chills and stress residents who fear their homes could be lost.

Fooling around with ignition sources, whether they be a cigarette butt carelessly flicked from a passing vehicle, or a hot cartridge, or fireworks, in our present conditions could hurt a lot of people.

While none of the firefighters injured fighting the Minnehaha fire were hurt seriously, we wager that whoever set those fireworks would prefer not to be on the receiving end.

That's not how we do things, but we do hope that federal officials keep their promise to pursue anyone who's being reckless with fire in the wildlands.

We understand that things can happen by chance in the wild, but putting a match to a sparkler isn't chance, nor is throwing a lit cigarette butt into the brush.

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We still have a long, hot, dry summer left to go, and fall won't be much better until the first rains arrive. Let's remember that wildfires are not victimless by a longshot and to be careful with fire.

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