To kill a hummingbird

The hummingbird is an incredible and wonderful example of how even the smallest animals can not only survive but prosper, given the proper environment.

They are very tough, but also very sensitive and vulnerable to their surroundings. They migrate thousands of miles every year and come back to the place where they were born, in this case Clearwater, B.C.

About Aug. 15, they start to migrate back south. Hummingbirds navigate by the sun and by landmarks they recognize. If the valleys are full of smoke, they won't leave, can’t find their way.

They have about a two-week window to migrate. When the last flowers of summer die, their food source is gone. Now, they can’t leave and with no food, they start to die.

Three years ago, I had four feeders out and so many hummingbirds, you couldn’t count them all. Now, I have just one feeder out and less than 10 birds. Very sad to see them being quickly wiped out. 

The hummingbirds are not the only ones. I saw a bear and two cubs so badly burned you couldn't tell what they were. A firefighter found them, still alive. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering those animals went through.

We did this to them – 2018 was the worst forest fire disaster we have ever inflicted on the forests of B.C., and 75% of the fires in the lower half of B.C. were started by stupid, ignorant people.

They are not “wildfires” and this is not “fire season.” If you soften the language, it softens the problem, even makes it acceptable. These fires are not wild, they don’t have a place to live in the forests, we start them. “Fire season” sounds like flu season, or drunk driving season at Christmas.

We sure have trouble with the truth. Denial will not put the fires out. 

If the public does not respect the woods, then close them, no access to the public or industry. If someone starts a fire in these areas, arrest them and charge them. 

Teach the public respect, stop the fires before they start. The forests are our lungs, when are we going to realize that?

God bless every mosquito up here with a taste for tourist!

A worldwide environmental study says over one million species are vulnerable to extinction because of human activity and economic pursuits. The hummingbirds and bears are on that list. A witness of your careless and destructive attitude. 

Bill Lewis, Clearwater

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