Dire Fire

The call last week to close Waianae area forest reserves was certainly a sound decision. With the lack of rainfall on the leeward side, tempting fate by leaving the pristine, but dry, reserves open for hikers and campers would have been a bit like playing with fire, so to speak. And unlike on the mainland, history has shown us that locally, it's not thunderstorms that lead to fires in dry areas, it's warped or careless humans who are usually to blame.

Residents on the leeward side, who are unfortunately used to this annual hazardous condition, should be extra vigilant in watching for cars parked in brush areas, or people looking around where there is not much to be looking for. Why someone would ever get a thrill by causing hardship, community disruption, and possible death by starting brush fires is hard to fathom, but as we have seen repeatedly here and, of course, in southern California, arson and thrill-seeking fire-starting gets some unfortunate souls really excited.

When a million people are displaced by the unfortunate, criminal, or even inadvertent acts of a single person or a few people as happened in California, when a billion dollars in damages and numerous injuries and deaths result, it reminds us all of just how fragile the balance is between mankind- or man unkind- and mother earth. Think about it...