All the conditions were right for a grass fire to take off, said Captain Jason Milne from the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue.
Milne was referencing a 911 call that came in Sunday afternoon just before 1:30 p.m., to report a grass fire at French Street park in Annable. (lower Warfield).
A 10-man crew responded to the fire which spread to cover an area of approximately 120 feet by 80 feet, said Milne.
“It started in the park and made it all the way up to the to the post on the highway side,” he said.
“We stopped it within a half hour, before it could advance further.”
Milne explained that the fire dept. has responded to a few fires on that same bank in the past few years, because due to the angle of the bank, flames quickly spread up the mountainside.
Milne said that once the snow is gone, the grass is really dry, and by adding in a wind factor, a fire can easily take off.
In this instance, a youngster with a lighter carelessly ignited the grass.
Milne explained that the child was very remorseful, and as part of follow up, will attend the Junior Fire Setters Program at the fire hall.
On Monday, just before noon, Fruitvale Company 6 received a call reporting a fire in the backyard of a residence on First Street.
“I think the fire just got away on the owners of the property,” said Milne. “But I believe they had put it out before the fire department got there.”
As backyards are being raked and mowed this spring, Milne reminds residents to use caution with open burning fires.
When burning backyard debris, keep it in small piles; always have a shovel and water source (hose) on hand; and never leave the fire unattended. Because the Fire Rescue is regional, Milne said each municipality has its own rules for burning.
“Check at your village hall as there are different rules in different areas,” he said.