While all eyes this week focused on the wildfires burning in eastern Curry County, a scarier incident happened right in our own backyard.
Brookings firefighters responded to the report of a brushfire near the ballpark at Azalea Park Thursday. The small fire was quickly extinguished, but found at the scene were some paper and matches, possible evidence of arson.
While's there's not much we can do to prevent lightning-sparked forest fires, we can take steps to keep man-made blazes from igniting, especially with existing fire resources already stretched thin.
Each of us must take responsibility, both for the safety of our own property and to ensure we're not to blame for a blaze. That includes talking to our children about the dangers of fire.
Fires can be touched off by something as small as a spark from a mower blade hitting a rock. More fires, though, are caused by careless disposal of cigarettes along roads, and from outdoor burning, such as campfires and debris piles.
Homeowners in fire-prone areas also can take precautions to protect their property: Keep brush cleared away from dwellings, use fire-resistant building materials - and carry lots of insurance. And be ready to flee in a hurry with pets, important papers and heirlooms.
Wildfire season is with us. Be careful out there.