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DT_editorial.jpg

Be careful out there

It’s only the second week of July, and wildfires are already popping up around the state, including one that has crossed the California border and sent smoke into Ashland.

Eastern Oregon bore the brunt of fire activity last month, with three lightning-caused blazes devouring more than 135,000 acres. This month, it has been Southern Oregon’s turn, starting with the Lobster Creek fire near Gold Beach and then the Klamathon fire in Northern California. The difference is, those are human-caused fires.

Lightning is a fact of life, and there is no way to prevent it. But human-caused fires are eminently preventable, if people use caution and a large dose of common sense.

The Lobster Creek fire was caused by a group of young climate activists at a Curry County-owned youth campground. The exact cause has still not been released, but county officials said leaders of Next Generation Climate Justice Action Camp told them they would take responsibility and had insurance to cover firefighting costs — an estimated $2 million.

The person reporting the Klamathon fire apparently said it started from an intentional fire that got out of control.

Also Monday, a blaze along the Bear Creek Greenway in Medford sent smoke into the air, and a grass fire closed the Exit 55 freeway interchange in Grants Pass.

It’s summer, folks. All it takes is a moment’s carelessness to put lives and property in jeopardy.

Please be careful outdoors. Wildfires may still happen, but there’s no point in giving them any help.

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