Fireworks didn’t cause any problems for firefighters in the Trail area on Canada Day, but people watching them did.
Firefighters from Trail and Warfield were called out early Sunday morning to fight a brush fire near the flag lookout on the bench above the hospital.
The call came in at approximately 4:30 a.m. and crews were on the scene at 5:40 a.m.
Just getting to the fire was a good workout for firefighters, says Rick Morris, Acting Captain of the Kootenay-Boundary Fire Rescue service.
“We staged at the switchback below the hospital. We have our forestry gear and we basically hiked it all up there with backpacks, we have the smaller stuff in packs, and we carry pumps, hand tools, shovels and pulaskis by hand.”
After cutting a fire line around the fire, a nearby pond proved convenient for crews, who used water from it to put out the blaze. Morris told the Trail Times the 30-metre-by-30-metre fire was under control in about an hour, and out by noon.
A camping tent pitched on the site was destroyed in the fire, but the campers had taken off.
“It looks like somebody got up there, set up a tent, and had a fire in the middle of the trees. It’s not a proper camping area,” said Morris. “There were a lot of dry needles on ground, and the campfire was warm to touch on the scene, but no one was around. The scene had been abandoned.”
Meanwhile, it was a reasonably quiet long weekend for provincial firefighters in the Kootenays.
Karlie Shaughnessy of the Southeast Fire District says work continues on a 25-hectare fire near Burton, a community on Arrow Lake. Fire crews and an helicopter have the week-old blaze 60 per cent contained.
On Sunday, wildfire crews were called out to assist the Salmo Fire Department fight a half-hectare fire near Sheep Creek. On Monday the fire was 70 per cent contained.
On Monday at noon, the Southeast Fire District imposed a Category 2 ban on open fires throughout the region.
The prohibition does not ban smaller campfires, a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.