Let’s try a fire-free Fourth
August 12, 2015
After fires on the last two Independence Days in a row, it would be nice to celebrate our country's birth without smoke pouring off the mountains for a change.
July 4, 2013, saw a lightning strike start the Bison Fire, the largest in Douglas County history. As one person observed about the recent Washington Fire, at least it wasn't human error.
That's not what happened last year, when someone using fireworks set the top of Minnehaha Canyon on fire.
While the 24,136-acre Bison fire resulted in no injuries to firefighters, six were injured battling the South County blaze.
Fires on the Fourth of July are hard on firefighters because they have resources devoted to fireworks displays across the region.
While there are no fireworks displays in Carson Valley, the folks we count on from outside the Valley to help when there's a big fire are tied up making sure their displays don't cause a problem.
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Fireworks are only one source of a conflagration, but since they're all about fire and sparks, they're an effective one.
There are weather forecasters watching thunderstorms come in, there's some kind of science behind predicting when and where lightning strikes will occur.
That's not something that accompanies fires caused by people, often because the people themselves don't realize they've started a fire until it's too late.
Celebrating our nation's birth is a wonderful way to gather with family and friends, barbecue some meat, toast the holiday, and enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans.
But while we're doing those things, let's be responsible with all sorts of ignition, including barbecues, cigarettes, target shooting and leave the fire starting to Mother Nature.