The Shovel Lake fire near Fort St. James, B.C. in August. Photo: Black Press

LETTER: Floods, smoke, heat, fire!

From reader John Alton

The smoke and wildfires we are having this summer are going to be normal, I understand, and get worse. Every summer now it’s predicted we will be choking on smoke, threatened from fires and floods and closing beaches from high bacteria.

I’m feeling angst, fear, resentment and motivation. How about you? I think it’s really serious that climate change effects are here sooner than predicted and it’s probably only a matter of time before we have fires threatening our towns in the West Kootenay with Nelson being cited as very vulnerable.

So what do we do now? Business as usual, same old same old, wait and see? Hope the city, RDCK or government does something? Maybe they will get going on cutting a fire break or act on greenhouse gas reductions.

To start with I think we all need to come together for a community meeting to hear about the planning and challenges from the city and emergency response and also some of the locals who spoke at the Wildfire and Climate Change Conference that just happened in Nelson.

We need also to put out a microphone and hear from people so there can be some collaboration and support because we need everyone to get involved and reduce our fire load and carbon load. Our way so far of dealing with climate change has not worked so there is no will to try something different. Are we not headed the way of the lemmings and dragging the innocent youth with us?

I’ve heard the next five years will be hotter than ever, so if that’s true it’s more likely we will have a tragic fire in Nelson. We need to get 90 per cent of us engaged, not our historical five per cent. I’m hoping so much for some leadership, teamwork and action from everyone in our communities and especially that the city would call a public meeting to bring us together.

John Alton


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