Summer's Here and the Time Is Right
Strange Days Have Found Us
Call it “natural progression” or “global warming”, whatever is causing serious tweaks in worldwide weather has taken hold of us by the scruff and knows how to shake it! No longer concerned with naming, or even arguing about, fault, I would really appreciate some significant business and political camaraderie in working toward solutions…but that’s another story.
I’m here now to celebrate summer; a time when everyone, even working folk, takes a little break and rolls more casually. Traditionally, summer is the time for epic adventures with family and friends; road trips, planned vacations, overnight camp-outs, picnics by the water, soft evenings on the porch, and so many more unique moments to be remembered fondly in years ahead. That’s what we want summer to be like, right? That’s why I’m asking for your help.
The Heat Is On
I reiterate the danger that horrible draughts and fatal floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and other emergencies routinely bring. Emphasizing that point recently is the incredible loss of the nineteen Granite Mountain Hot Shots, firefighters killed just days ago in the line of duty and honored this week in Prescott, Arizona. Mother Nature unconditionally fools even the best seasoned professionals.
Accidental fires stretch firefighters’ capabilities and may be caused by, in random order:
- Lightning strikes
- Discarded burning objects
- Improperly maintained campfires
- Playing with matches or lighters
- Sparks from vehicle tailpipes
- Malfunctioning equipment and power lines
These instances are already more than enough to keep crews busy.
Adding Heat to the Fire
OK, here’s where I really need your help. You may think this is a little over the top; we’ll see.
I realize we’re already on the lookout for terrorists, pedophiles, pickpockets, the socially challenged, and any other suspicious looking characters in our daily lives. Now, I’m adding Arsonists, those psychotic sickos who specifically take advantage of extreme fire conditions to get a thrill, regardless of the cost.
Arsonists are responsible for an unquantifiable loss of life and for the impact on, or ruination of, valued property including family homes and prized forestlands. Arsonists bring trauma or, at the least, major disruption to the daily lives of innocent people. And they ruin summertime for kids, exposing them to danger either directly (favorite place in flames) or indirectly (hitch in travel plans, family involved in the firefight). As well as the more serious loss of life, a kid’s “loss of summer” can never be replaced.
If the danger is immediate you may elect to act assertively, short of starting a fight. That’s a risky proposition. Even better, get others around involved or quickly go find help close-by. But do something; you may be saving lives.
However things unfold and as soon as it’s safe to do so, report your suspicions in person or by phone to anyone who can help quickly convey your information to the proper authorities. Please don’t shrug this off. Get a vehicle plate number and color and/or a good physical description of the possible offender to assist others in locating them later. Arsonists usually operate alone and are pretty secretive so you likely won’t see them in action. But if you seriously suspect that someone is planning an act of arson, report it ASAP. Don’t give an arsonist a chance to escape; they’d never do that for you.
Be Safe, Be Cool
Our lives have become so much more security-conscious since I was a boy. A shame or not, it’s real and requires being dealt with. Teamwork is probably the most efficient way to avoid incidents. Like word-of-mouth, keeping an eye out is something everyone can, and should, do. If you witness something threatening or dangerously unusual, report it.
Yes, some who have nothing to do with arson may be detained and even arrested for unrelated violations. That may be part of the price of our safety; a person initially searched and, although dismissed for suspicion of arson, ultimately taken into custody for alcohol abuse. But at least we’re no longer worrying about the threat of arson from that numbnut.
I’m sorry if that sounds callous. I don’t believe any authority should be able to detain people based on looks unless those looks/actions trigger concern and obviously suggest trouble ahead. I’m just sick and tired of these wacko fire-starters acting with impunity. Anyone who commits arson is a narcissist harboring evil tendencies where their heart should be, and they don’t deserve to play with the rest of us. So keep an eye out for fools like that ‘cos they’re out there and I need your help.
Thanks, in advance, and let’s all have an excellent summertime.