June 30, 2008

Stupid Is...

When I went for my walk this morning, I wondered where the smoke haze lying over town had come from. I could hardly see any of the familiar landmarks around our small community because of the smoke. It was enough to make me speculate about all the wildfires burning in Northern California sending the haze our way, although I couldn't imagine that smoke lasting so long.

When I got back and looked at this morning's paper, the tale was told. This article is not the same as I read, but the basic facts--and the basic idiocy of the perpetuator--are the same.

On Saturday, five hikers got lost and one of them left the group and started a signal fire to get attention, Skurja said. The sheriff's office began a search and rescue effort and saw the fire in the distance but because of rough terrain decided to wait until morning. Winds the next morning spread the fire, Skurja said.

COME ON, people. This is the height of stupidity. Everyone knows--or bloody well should know--how tinder dry our forests are right now. It is seriously irresponsible, to say the least, to light any kind of fire. The search and rescue effort had already begun--all the idiots had to do was wait it out and they would have been found.

As of today, the fire has grown to 5300 acres, and is still threatening the tiny mountain community of Crown King. Three homes have burned, and the town has been evacuated.

All because some jackass didn't have the sense God gave a goose.

If this sounds callous, so be it. I would no more light a fire even if I was lost than I would fly. I figure the forest, not to mention the people who live in it, is MORE IMPORTANT than saving my sorry stupid ass. The twit(s) who did this should be (a) slapped with a huge fine and (b) serve some jail time--30 days would be nice.

On second thought, no, it's not callous. Four pages of commenters agree with me.

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