Dodged a bullet

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 29, 2007

It might not seem like a big deal, but area residents can breathe a sign of relief today.

Wednesday’s steady rains finally brought to an end a ban on open fires in the open air.

The area had gotten so dry this summer that officials instituted the ban, and kept it in place even after the governor lifted the statewide ban.

On Thursday, Isle of Wight lifted its ban, following the lead of Southampton County officials.

Not only does it mean we had substantial rain — which was desperately needed — but the precipitation lowered the risk of ash or spark setting dry grass or trees on fire.

That we suffered no major fire destroying life or property is a combination of common sense among property owners, strict enforcement of the ban by police and fire officials and plain old good fortune.

Still, we emerged from a potentially fatal situation relatively unscathed.