Extreme weather the new norm

Extreme weather the new norm

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That’s it!

We’re moving to Vancouver Island to get away from the forest fires. Er . . on second thought scrap that idea because Victoria is supposed to be hit by a big earthquake.

There are not many places you can run to these days to escape high-risk areas prone to fire, floods and drought. And it’s only going to get worse, according to weather experts calling for more wet and dry conditions every year. Courtesy of mankind.

This year is reportedly the worst fire season in BC history, and we can blame a lot of human beings for that. (One has to wonder if these people are really human or not; who could be so careless and irresponsible?)

The latest was the Joe Rich fire in Kelowna last week, when fire officials said the blaze was likely human caused. What is wrong with people? By now everybody and his dog should know about the extreme hazards that still exist. Perhaps an immediate $5,000 fine or a month in jail will change their attitude.

It’s very disappointing that government has relaxed the campfire ban in some areas and opened up more backcountry to campers.

This is a big mistake considering our tinder dry conditions. The ban on campfires should not be lifted until October or until the fire hazard rating drops to level 2 or 3.

While forest fires are still raging in BC, another concern right now in different parts of the province is drought. As of last Friday, Oliver hadn’t recorded a drop of precipitation for 67 days. But according to Public Works, water levels seem to be fine in this community.

It’s ironic that people are lamenting about potential drought when there was extreme flooding this spring.

Last Wednesday’s public meeting on the flooding situation was a good opportunity (thanks to Area C director Terry Schafer) to hear concerns from residents and business owners greatly impacted by all that water, some of which is still causing headaches.

It appears some government officials were caught off guard and didn’t expect to be hit with this “freight train.”

Clearly, the lesson learned is making sure that communication with residents is a top priority during these crises.

The regional district was quite diligent in releasing updates to the media, but some residents feel there was definitely a lack of communication with them directly.

Proper drainage during the flooding was reportedly a big problem this year, with backups and silt being a primary concern south of Oliver. This is something we strongly urge government officials to address before the next flood hits us. Not if but when.

Lyonel Doherty, editor

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