Local firefighters responded to a grass fire on Dicken Road in the Hosmer area late Wednesday afternoon.

“A contract crew was cutting and burning slash piles on private property. The fire got away on them and spread quickly into the grass,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley. “This is another example of how quickly things can change, particularly when burning in windy conditions. We can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared and choosing to burn only when conditions are favourable.”

Firefighters from the Fernie and Hosmer Fire Departments along with four pieces of apparatus responded to the fire, which was contained and fully extinguished.

“Preparation and safety need to be the top two priorities before doing any outdoor burning, including having a water source, shovel or tools, burning when it’s not windy and staying on site monitoring the fire until it is completely out,” stresses Hockley. “This very easily could have been a much more serious situation, and it’s critical that people take the proper precautions every time they are burning.”

Fires can spread quickly at this time of year as the dead fine fuels from last season dry out and the lush, moisture-rich new vegetation has not yet started to grow.

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