Squirrel causes grass fire in 100 Mile House

The fire grew to several meters, stretching across a front and toward a house

If lightning and human-caused fires weren’t enough this season, a hapless squirrel was at the centre of the latest fire attended to by the 100 Mile Fire Rescue team.

On Sept. 5, a squirrel raced up a hydro pole along 103 Mile Lake Road. Fire Chief Roger Hollander says the creature hit the transformer on the power pole and was electrocuted, falling to the ground, where a grass fire quickly started.

A potentially destructive scenario was turned into a happy one, when a quick thinking neighbour saw the fire across the street.

“We heard the bang, the power went out and then about five minutes later I looked out the window and the whole front was on fire, so I just ran over, picked up the hose,” says Jim McMahon.

The fire had grown several meters by then, stretching across the front of the lawn and approaching the next door neighbour’s yard, as well as some nearby trees.

“I was thinking, ‘Uh-oh. That’s not good,’” says McMahon.

He says he headed off the fire with the hose, preventing it from spreading any further.

“I stopped a bunch of it first, slowed it down because it was burning pretty good over here, and then up under the tree.”

The fire was out by the time 100 Mile Fire Rescue arrived. McMahon was still watering the grass down but says it only took a couple of minutes to put out the fire.

While the squirrel knocked out power to the surrounding areas, BC Hydro arrived on scene shortly after the fire department and power was restored to the community shortly after.

In a season where wildfires have spread in a matter of days and evacuated communities, including the 103 for several weeks, McMahon says they’re lucky.

“We’re lucky. We’re lucky … because it was up under the tree here, we’re lucky it didn’t get into the tree and carry off, because everyone’s lawns are so dry,” says McMahon.

“We just got really lucky, that’s all.”

Just Posted

UPDATE: Accident closes Hwy 22 near Castlegar

Highway not expected to reopen until Sunday.

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read