A flaming approach to gardening put a Lake Country resort in peril Friday afternoon, prompting fire officials to issue a warning.
“Using tiger torches, at all, to kill weeds is not the correct method,” said Aaron Weller, the assistant chief of the Lake Country fire department, noting area fire departments have already responded to several similar calls in recent weeks.
In this case, Lake Country was called to the Holiday Park Resort just after 1 p.m., when a resident’s attempt to garden with fire went awry.
Flames from his weeding torch spread to the cedar bushes next to his RV, then jumped onto a nearby trailer, ripping through much of its back end. Two others were slightly singed as flames, whipped around.
Ultimately the damage was minimal, considering the amount of fuel the flames had to work with, and that’s in large part because of the intervention of neighbours.
According to the resort’s general manager, the men and women living in the area immediately stepped up to the plate and worked to limit the fire’s reach.
“It was spreading really quickly,” said Don Culic, who saw plumes of smoke rising from his office at the gate house, around a block from where the blaze broke.
“Before I even got to the fire, there were already three or four garden houses going. By the time the fire department arrived there were seven hoses going.
“The good Samaritans here really did a great job.”
Assistant fire chief Weller agreed neighbourhood dousing efforts were key to keeping the situation in check, while his crews turned their efforts to the larger blaze that was starting to take over the trailer.
“They were knocking it down in the shrubs,” he said.
That said, he warned conditions could have become dicey.
Most of the units in the resort park are fuelled by propane, and had flames managed to seep into their systems it could have been very dangerous.
Considering the wind that was fanning flames as they worked, the neighbourhood water crew were just “fortunate” it didn’t happen, said Weller.
Nobody was injured in the fire and the owners of the unit that was most severely damaged are currently out of town. Those who were fighting flames are being checked by hospital crews for smoke inhalation.