Jaffray and Elko Rural Fire

Members of the Jaffray and Elko Rural Fire Departments responded to two spot fires beside Highway #3 early this afternoon.

“Two spot fires were discovered next to Highway #3 just east of the Wardner Bridge over the Kootenay River this afternoon,” says Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Ben Goertzen. “Upon suppression of the fires the scene was handed off to the BC Wildfire Service for monitoring.”

A total of seven firefighters and three pieces of apparatus responded to the fires. The cause of these fires is currently under investigation. Attentiveness by residents and motorists is important this time of year as 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.

Roadside wildfires can be extremely destructive so we need your help to prevent these from happening.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure works around the clock with safety in mind, but could you butt out? You heard us right, we need you to put that cigarette butt out properly when you are finished smoking.

Warmer temperatures may mean fun in the sun for you, but they also mean higher fire hazard ratings across the province and cigarette carelessness is the key culprit in many of the wildfires that occur on roadways during the summer. Cigarettes are not the only culprit to blame.

Here are some other ways that wildfires are started along roadsides:

• Bottles and broken glass can act as a magnifying glass, catching the sun and sparking fires through reflection? Keep your drink containers in your car until you get to your destination and recycle them.
• Barbeques and summer go hand in hand. When you are out at your favourite lake or on the beach, make sure that you take extra care with your cooking fire. By soaking briquettes and putting them in a metal container before you throw them away, you can greatly reduce the risk of fires sparking in trash cans.

Additional information and resources are available on the BC Wildfire Service website on www.bcwildfire.ca.

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