Yellowknife, North Western Territories, Canada (pop 20000), evacuated, is added to the list of dangerous wild fires which seem to be affecting much of the northern hemisphere this summer. The cost in human life is rising, wildlife suffers untold damage, the economic cost is huge. Coping with the fires is difficult. So could more be done in prevention? In Hawaii imported and invasive grasses have been blamed together with a wet spring followed by drought and high winds.

Firstly we need to take action on climate change NOW. Things will only get worse so putting the country on a war footing against climate change is imperative.

Secondly I wonder whether we need a rethink of our attitude to nature. Water extraction from wetland areas is plain stupid. Should we encourage more herbivores? I love my herbs and mints, but would not complain too much if deer came off the hill for a snack if it prevented a wildfire? Do we need to increase coppicing in woodland areas to reduce the potential fuel. I know that overgrazing is harmful to the environment but reckon a plan could be worked out.

Thirdly – education – most fires are caused by people; some maliciously (law enforcement with harsh penalties?); but many through ignorance, the BBQ not properly extinguished, a cigarette end not disposed of properly, a bottle discarded as litter. The consequences of these actions needs to be core curriculum in schools.

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