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Front Page » July 3, 2012 » Opinion » Sheep among us and common sense
Published 753 days ago

Sheep among us and common sense


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By By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

Last week Governor Gary Herbert pleaded with people to use common sense when using fireworks or doing shooting in Utah, due to the high level fire danger.

Whether you like him or not, agree with what he does as a politician or not, it's hard not to agree with him on this. We need a lot of common sense from everyone in this time of little water, high temperatures and fires raging around our county on two sides.

Yet common sense really seems to be lacking among many people.

Last week a fire started in the Pole Creek area of Duchesne County. That is the same area that was devastated by a large forest and range fire a few years ago. That blaze also took three lives when the firestorm spread at 50 miles an hour over a group of men who were hauling hay in a alfalfa field there. The fire that started last week, came about by many accounts because someone was lighting fireworks in the Ashley National Forest.

What is wrong with people's heads? The common sense just doesn't exist in somes minds and yet we expect them to use it?

I have also been shocked as we entered into this fire tribulation we have faced in the last week by the number of people I talk to who had no idea we had a fire danger problem, nor even a water shortage. I can't see how one can live in a place like this and not notice that we really didn't have any snow this past winter, nor has there been any (and I mean none, nada, zilch) rain this spring. Yet these people go on believing all is well because they have enough water to water their lawn and wash their car.

Some people live their lives outside the realm of public discussion. They don't want to know what is going on and are so caught up in their own world that they never pay attention. They probably don't know that firewords were banned this last week in almost all places in Carbon County. They probably don't know that camp fires, in fact open fires of all kinds, are out. So these people will go on their Fourth of July picnic, start a campfire, light a few sparklers and think nothing of it unless they start a fire or someone reports them. Then they will play dumb, which is appropriate, because that is what they are.

Last week I heard that hundreds of thousands of dollars of sheep were burnt to death in the Sanpete County fires that took place in the last couple of weeks. Sheep are pretty aloof animals. Some would call them really dumb. Whether they ran from the fire or just stood there eating grass while the fire overtook them, I don't know, but having dealt with sheep before, I could guess the later.

We often claim that people are sheep because they will follow anyone with a good story or promise of reward. But people can be like sheep in another way to: they seem to have the ability to remain oblivious to all threats until it is too late. Or maybe, even worse than sheep, because of their egos they ignore danger thinking they are special and the rules don't count for them.

Regardless of the reason, I hope that the sheep around here will keep their matches in their pockets for the rest of this fire season.

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