Last week, an expat living in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, was taking a walk past a forest reserve when nature called. The man was carrying toilet paper, and he used it. Attempting to be extra fastidious, he then lit the toilet paper on fire.
Then he watched, presumably horrified, as the toilet paper began to light the whole forest on fire. “Sparks from the burning toilet paper caught dry vegetation,” explained a source from the ensuing investigation, according to the Local. Within days, the island was ablaze.
Everyone makes small, bad decisions, but this one has had truly horrific consequences. As of Tuesday, about 7% of La Palma had been burned, the Associated Press reports. Hundreds of thousands of acres of forest have been consumed by the blaze, and thousands were evacuated from their homes. At least one person has died, and yesterday, a firefighting helicopter crashed into the side of a mountain.
The fire is now under control, but recent reports say it’s still burning. Campers, pack out your toilet paper. Entire islands will thank you.