Members of the Baynes Lake and Jaffray Fire Departments responded to a grass fire in the Jaffray area this afternoon.
“A private property owner was burning grass and it got away on him,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley. “When we arrived on scene, the fire was moving into longer grass and our firefighters did a good job of containing it quickly and preventing what could have been a much more serious situation.”
A total of seven firefighters and 5 pieces of apparatus responded to the 0.5-hectare fire, which has now been fully extinguished.
“This is a good reminder for everyone about the importance of ensuring the burning conditions are safe and taking steps to be prepared every time you burn outdoors. This includes 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.
While many residents think about the danger of burning during the heat of the summer, caution is needed throughout the next few months as well says Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Drew Sinclair. “This time of year is known as the ‘spring dip’ where the dead, dry fuels from last season pose a fire risk due to their low moisture content and the lush, moisture-rich new vegetation has not yet started to grow.”
Members of Windermere Fire responded to a 1-hectare grass fire on Kootenay #3 Road on March 11 with five firefighters and 2 apparatus.
“Never underestimate spring burning conditions. Fires like these are preventable and it is critical that residents ensure they are fully prepared and that conditions are safe if they are planning any outdoor burning,” adds Sinclair.