Campfires have positive impacts

Fruitvale resident replies to request for an outdoor fire ban in the village.

I am writing to speak my mind about an article that was written on the front page of Tuesday’s Trail Times paper. The article was entitled “Fire ban goes up in smoke” (Trail Times June 25). It was about how Melissa Heart of Fruitvale had approached Fuitvale village council in May requesting a full ban on any outdoor wood burning, like campfires, within the village limits. She stated she wanted the ban because she and her four-year-old son suffer from asthma, which she says is caused from wood burning. She submitted information from The Canadian Lung Association to show how bad wood smoke is to a human’s lungs.

I will agree with her on the fact that breathing in wood smoke is not a good thing. But that is where my agreeing with her stops. I myself am a long time Fruitvale resident and I personally support campfires and more importantly I support having the pleasure of firing up my backyard fire pit. I bet there are more people in Fruitvale that smoke tobacco each and every day then there are people that burn back yard campfires each and every day yet I don’t see Melissa demanding a ban on tobacco smoke in Fruitvale.

And the truth is that tobacco smoke is much deadlier then campfire smoke. Plus, with campfire smoke, if it blows in your direction, then you get up and move around the fire to where it is not blowing at you. And with campfire smoke you really can’t smell it unless it is blowing right at you. But when it comes to tobacco smoke, it doesn’t matter where you sit around the person smoking, you can smell the smoke a mile away.

There are so many pros to having a campfire in one’s own back yard. For years my family has had many memorable moments sitting around the campfire in the back yard. Plus there is nothing that can compare to a well roasted hot dog or hamburger over an open flame like that of a campfire. And what about those awesome tasty marshmallows?

Then there is the romantic aspects of a campfire. I can only imagine how many relationships have been started sitting around a well burning campfire. And what would a cool evening be without the warmth of a campfire. Many people have stayed outdoors late into the evening all because they were able to stay warm around a campfire.

Melissa talks about asthma, well here is one for her. I have a six-year-old niece who also has asthma. In fact she too, just like Melissa’s son was born with asthma. But unlike Melissa’s son my niece loves campfires and more importantly she loves having roasted marshmallows around a campfire. Not once has my niece ever complained about campfire smoke.

If I had to tell my niece that she no longer would be able to come over to uncle’s and have a campfire and roast marshmallows with her mom, grandfather, and uncle, she would be totally saddened. I am so proud that the village council of Fruitvale did not ban campfires.

To me and many other fellow long time Fruitvale residents, we feel it is our right and privilege to be able to fire up our backyard fire pits and enjoy a Canadian family pastime.

Quite frankly if we start banning campfires in our own backyards then we might as well ban them in all camp grounds as well. And in all honesty, that is just something that will never happen.

Tim Franko