Burn pile gets out of hand causing brush fire

Shuswap fire chief encourages taking wood waste to landfill instead of burning

A smouldering burn pile that got out of hand is to blame for a brush fire that occurred near the Balmoral Store.

On Tuesday, April 2, at about 2 p.m., the Shuswap Fire Department responded to the blaze on property at the corner of Balmoral and White Lake roads. Fifteen firefighters and three trucks, including a White Lake Fire Department crew, were quick to knock down the fire before spending about two hours hitting hot spots and mopping up.

“A gentleman had a couple of burn piles going and one burn pile had gotten away from him into the tall grass, and it just spread because it’s been so dry…,” said Shuswap Fire Department Fire Chief Gary Hoult. “That just took off and it was spreading across the field.”

Read more: Unusually dry March leads to dozens of grass fires in B.C.

Read more: Firefighters respond to brush fire behind Balmoral Store

While the roads provided a fire break to help contain the blaze, the fire did come close to nearby marine repair business.

“The fire got within five feet of the canoes and probably within 50 feet of his building,” said Hoult.

Hoult said they were able to surround the fire with the three trucks and work it from different sides until it was out.

The fire chief notes the recent dry weather is similar to what it was like at this time last year, and he was grateful that rain is in the forecast. That said, Hoult wanted to remind the public that the Columbia Shuswap Regional District landfills accept yard waste year round, including tree branches up to 19-cm in diameter.

“It’s like last year – right up to May we were bone dry in the area,” said Hoult. “We were warning everybody not to even do their (burn) piles, but people do it because they get a permit and then they see the burning index on the BC Wildfire site is good. They’ve got their number from forestry to burn and they burn it.

“Normally, if you’ve got the equipment around and somebody is monitoring it all the time, then you usually don’t have a problem. But I mean, there was no water onsite. Usually some will tow a big 800 gallon water tank and have it sitting there just in case.”

Read more: Regulations need to change for logging debris on-site, says BC Forest Practices Board

Read more: Update: BC Wildfire Service contains both Chase fires

The B.C. government asks that individuals, before resorting to burning, look for other ways to dispose of material, to burn only during good venting conditions, to burn efficiently “by lighting a quick burning and hot fire that produces a minimum amount of smoke,” and to make sure the material to burn has been dried for at least six months.

The province’s interactive vending index map for Wednesday, April 3, advised against open burns as venting was poor.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Home fire displaces Okanagan tenants for “at least one night”

Firefighters able to contain fire to a single room

Motorcycle ride in memory of Penticton man

Motorcycle enthusiast was murdered in Kamloops earlier this year

Santa to kick off holiday season in West Kelowna

Saint Nick will be at two community events in West Kelowna at the beginning of December

Kelowna innkeeper’s fundraiser hits $1 million mark

This year’s Innkeeper’s Gala raises $84,080, pushing 30-year total to more than $1 million

Freezing rain, flurries possible for Central and North Okanagan

Risk of freezing rain tonight and Saturday morning in Central, North Okanagan and Connector

PHOTOS: NHL honours B.C. grandma’s battle against cancer in special match

Shea Theodore’s grandmother Kay Darlington dropped the puck at a special ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ game

Province argues in B.C. Supreme Court for smudging in schools, says it relates to curriculum

Hearing concludes in case regarding indigenous cultural practice in Vancouver Island classroom

Two-vehicle crash at North Okanagan intersection

Truck and SUV involved at Alexis Park Drive and 43rd Avenue

Mosaic Forest Management announces forestry shutdown

Thousands of forestry workers in Coastal B.C. will be affected by ‘curtailment’

Nothing wrong with being mistaken for a sex trade worker

Twice in my life, I’ve been mistaken for a sex trade worker.… Continue reading

Support sought for senior dog at SPCA in North Okanagan

Teki came in underweight, had surgery to remove two painful lumps and dental work

Appeal dismissed for B.C. man who assaulted woman in ‘thoroughly modern’ fight over phone

‘Both were seeking evidence of cheating by the other,’ says B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Princeton pot plant owners concerned about fake website

We don’t want people thinking that’s our company.

Vandals target Cowork Penticton mural

‘Calliope’ is meant to be a simble for weaving separate parts together to form a community

Most Read