By Dean Midyette
One of the busiest weekends of the year has come and gone, thankfully without a major incident.
The vast majority of locals and visitors respected the fire ban and off-road vehicle ban as crews of firefighters worked long hours to protect property and contain local wildfires.
Of course there are always the exceptions; those who prioritize their own selfish needs above the greater good. They come in all shapes and sizes and from near and far. They are the ones to whom the rules or common sense don’t apply.
I had an opportunity to speak with a number of people enjoying some well earned vacation time this weekend and the conversations invariably turned to “those idiots”. I was regaled with stories of people being passed on double yellow lines and in speed reduced and visibility reduced zones by “those idiots”.
I personally witnessed a family with an open fire while almost every community sign in the valley had the fire ban posted.
It’s important to note that in the conditions that we currently have, smouldering can linger for days or even weeks and can travel up to a mile underground even after flames have been extinguished.
Thankfully the fire I saw was put out immediately and thoroughly once a polite request had been made.
I also saw burning cigarettes lying along the fairways of a local golf course.
A number of people were seen ignoring the off-road vehicle ban and yes, these folks had dirt bikes and an ATV on public lands along the Westside Road.
However, the biggest idiots were the ones on local lakes who seemed oblivious to the aircraft that were fighting the wildfires. One would think that when large, noisy water bombers are swooping down, scooping water from local lakes, that people would get out of the way. Or maybe Darwin was wrong.
Rain isn’t expected until the middle of next week. Let’s all do our small part to ensure that the summer finishes without incident.