The Burns Lake Fire Rescue and the BC Wildfire Service crews attended to a fire east of Burns Lake last Friday afternoon.
According to the Burns Lake Fire Rescue (BLFR) chief Robert Krause, the BLFR crew was called to assist BC Wildfire Service at approximately 3 p.m. on April 16 for a wildland fire with structures threatened on Bartlett Road, east of Burns Lake.
The response was part of the BLFR’s inter-agency agreement with the BC Wildfire Service to assist with wildland interface fires that are outside of BLFR’s response area.
One outbuilding was destroyed prior to the crew’s arrival, and the vinyl siding of the main house was damaged by the radiant heat from the shed burning. Numerous trees were also damaged or destroyed according to Krause.
In a Facebook post, the BLFR said “Please be extremely careful if you are doing any backyard burning. The damage to this house could have been much worse.”
Last week, the Northwest Fire Centre had also issued a news release urging public to be cautious when outdoor burning.
”The forecast is calling for a drying trend across the Northwest Fire Centre, especially in the Nadina Fire Zone. As the temperature increases, burning conditions become more hazardous; and with windy conditions a grass fire can spread very quickly. Local winds are often strongest in the afternoon and also just as the sun is going down,” said the release.
While there were no open burning prohibitions in effect at the time of going to press, the BCWS staff is constantly monitoring the situation and has warned of a potential fire prohibition.
So far in the month of April, the BLFR has already responded to two other small grass fires withing the fire protection area but neither of those fires caused any damaged. During the April 16 fire, the BLFR was on scene for two and a half hours and were then released to return to Burns Lake. Krause also said that the BC Wildfire remained on scene “mopping up” the wildfire until dark.
“Dry grass at this time of year is one of the most volatile forest fuels. Anyone wishing to do backyard burning should be extremely cautious and ensure that they have an adequate source of water and that they follow the BC Wildfire rules for backyard burning and campfires,” said Krause.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.