Thursday, 27 July 2017 05:29

Butt Out! Fire bans now in place in southwest Sask.

Written by  Andrea Carol
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The Twisted Tree on the Moose Trail in Cypress Hills Provincial Park draws many hikers to it's site. Now at risk of forest fire, the government of Saskatchewan is asking for help in taking extra fire prevention precautions in our parks.  The Twisted Tree on the Moose Trail in Cypress Hills Provincial Park draws many hikers to it's site. Now at risk of forest fire, the government of Saskatchewan is asking for help in taking extra fire prevention precautions in our parks.  Andrea Carol


Only you can prevent wildfires has been a popular slogan since 1944. 


Smokey the Bear has been fighting careless wildfires around North America for 73 years. Currently, we are in times when “his” advice could not be more important.
Southwest Saskatchewan is up against drought conditions that producers haven’t seen since the 1980’s.
Water trucks are on standby for harvest just around the corner and communities are taking extra precautions in fire prevention. The drought is wreaking havoc not only on our crops but in the forested parks as well.
With conditions dangerously dry and thick under growth, the province has issued a fire ban that affects the following provincial parks: Buffalo Pound Provincial Park; Coldwell Recreation Site; Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park; Cypress Lake Recreation Site; Danielson Provincial Park; Douglas Provincial Park; Elbow Harbour Recreation Site and Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park.
Travelers and outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to support fire suppression efforts around the province. Lightning is sometimes a factor in wildfires but the worst blazes are often man-made. The majority of wildfires are more often than not the result of human carelessness like flicking burning cigarette butts out car windows.
Globally, approximately 4.3 trillion cigarette butts are littered every year. It’s enough to make your blood boil when following a vehicle down the road and one of the passengers throws a cigarette butt out of the window. Cigarette-flickers cause more fires than one might realize as dropped butts have been the cause of some of the largest and most devastating forest fires. If you are a smoker, butt out in an ashtray not the open road.
In 1999, a single lighted cigarette thrown from a moving car started a fire in France’s Mont Blanc Tunnel, causing 39 deaths and over $1 billion in losses.
Southwest Saskatchewan is experiencing matchstick dry conditions and a flicked butt could cause tremendous damage and death. A lightning strike poses great risk due to the province’s arid state and an electrical storm is very possible in the current climate.
Remember the devastation that Fort McMurray faced last year and the harrowing evacuation that ensued. The uncommonly dry forest floor, the consistent Saskatchewan wind and the igniting spark of a cigarette butt or vehicle exhaust could cause a fire on an epic scale and risk thousands of innocent lives.
Be prepared. Many resorts and parks have professional emergency plans. In fact, if you are camping in a forested area, you may want to contact the park to learn the emergency evacuation procedures. If a fire was to start, an entire park could go up in a matter of minutes in the ripe conditions. Keep your fuel tank on your vehicle full so you can have a quick getaway if necessary.
Butt out. Respect Mother Nature and she will respect you.
Support fire suppression efforts. If you see a fire, report it by calling Park Watch toll-free at 1-800-667-1788.

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