Trail firefighters called to wildfire, Sunday

Lightning strike the reported cause of Fort Shepherd fire

Photo showing the lightning strike that sparked a fire in the Fort Shepherd area on Sunday. (Submitted photo)

Firefighters from Station 374 Trail were called to a wildfire in the outskirts of the city early Sunday.

The cause of the fire was a lightning strike, reported Captain Grant Tyson from Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue.

Four firefighters responded to the scene at Fort Shepherd shortly after 10:30 a.m. Aug. 11.

Tyson lists the incidents as “under control” by 11:15 a.m.

The Southeast Fire Centre notes two new lightning-caused fires as of Sunday.

Since the season began April 1, a total of 124 wildfires have been reported in this region with 158 hectares burned.

Category 2 fires are currently prohibited in the southeast region.

This prohibition includes:

• open fires larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high;

• stubble or grass fires of any size over any area;

• the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description;

• the use of air curtain burners;

• the use of sky lanterns;

• the use of fireworks; and

• the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)

These prohibitions do not apply to campfires that are smaller than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Campfires should not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Anyone who lights a campfire must ensure that sufficient water, tools and people are on hand to contain it. Make sure that the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land unless specified otherwise (for example, in a local government bylaw).

Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east.

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