Brush bursts into flames as hot dry winds fan the fire.

Brush fire hit hard by local, regional fire crews

Greater Trail firefighters quickly contain Pend d’Oreille blaze

Local fire crews and BC Wildfire Service air support were called in to tackle a brush fire on the Waneta-Nelway Road on Monday afternoon.

The two-hectare brush fire was threatening hydro lines and structures in the area.

About 23 firefighters from Trail, Warfield, and Montrose responded to the fire around 2 p.m. and began tackling the blaze with ground equipment. Kootenay-Boundary Regional Fire Chief Dan Derby says they were soon joined by BC Wildfire crews, along with two helicopters and two tanker planes from Castlegar.

“When we arrived on the scene, it was evident that air support was needed to minimize the fire and contain the blaze to protect other transmission lines and the residents who live in the Pend d’Oreille,” said Derby.

The fire was contained by about 9 p.m., and a contract crew was on the site Tuesday morning to mop up the remaining smouldering areas. Derby says the quick co-ordinated action by the different firefighting organizations helped keep the fire from causing more trouble.

“We had a timely response from the Castlegar air base,” he told the Trail Times. “They got a good drop on the head of the fire right away to contain it, and it made a big difference for us.”

Derby says the hydro transmission lines are likely the reason for the fire, but could not confirm the cause.

Hydro lines can cause fires through repetitive faults, vegetation contact, or equipment failure that can cause sparks or arcing, igniting vegetation underneath the lines, according to the Texas Wildfire Mitigation Project website.


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