Letter: The county needs stricter rules on fire prevention to prevent danger

Editor,

I am concerned about the fire hazard on South Whidbey. Did you know the Island County sheriff makes the burn ban decisions, and not the fire department?

This makes no sense to me. It has been extremely dry, with record-setting high temperatures and very many days with above-average highs and yet my neighbor, who I will call the “campfire kid,” is allowed to burn his fires almost every night.

Is it going to take a major fire to change things? Does a homeowner have to lose a house, or a neighborhood burn before the rights of the “campfire kid” outweigh those concerned about safety? Open campfires at this time of year is just a bad idea and just asking for trouble.

I wonder if some houses and possibly, God forbid, people will have to burn before things change. I hope it’s not my house that goes up in smoke as I am surrounded by very tall, very dry grass.

Take a cue from other parts of our country currently going “up in smoke” and call the Island County sheriff to complain. It seems like the fire department should be making these decisions and that all fires for simple “entertainment” should be curtailed during our drought season.

Eric Studebaker,

Clinton

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