04 July 2008

Fireworks Could Mean Fire on the Fourth

There is some debate going on in California about whether fireworks should be prohibited statewide given drought conditions and the increasing incidence of catastrophic fire. The governor and many fire management officials have publicly asked residents to consider foregoing the use of home-based fireworks and attend public, professionally-managed displays and stopped well short of calling for an outright ban.
The argument will probably fall under the same general rubric as that about guns: in other words, fireworks don't cause fires, people do. Fair enough. In those areas where the risk of a major fire is low, it would appear less pressing to consider a prohibition than in those areas where the danger is far greater.
Regards Carbon Canyon, the fire risk is severe. I'm heading down to Orange County tonight to see a city-sponsored fireworks show and, in some way, am leaving my home to a certain degree of chance or circumstance.
I sure hope that my canyon neighbors all heed the local ban on fireworks of any kind so that there isn't the possibility of the kind of fire we've seen in northern California, an unprecedented series of wildfires prompted by lightning strikes. The canyon is full of tinder-dry brush and undergrowth and people sometimes look at the green trees (oaks, sycamores, and the like) and don't see the problem. All that would need to be done is to look at the charred remains of the May fires to know how much fuel there is for fire here.

So, enjoy the 4th, fire up the barbeque, enjoy being with family and friends, show your love of country, but don't tempt fate (or, more precisely, fuel) by setting off what might seem to be a little innocent fun with fireworks.
In Carbon Canyon, we can't afford the risk.

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