A grass fire along Dicken Road in the Hosmer area was snuffed out by local firefighters on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Michael Hockley, Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Chief, the fire got away from a contract crew who were cutting and burning slash piles on private property.
“This is another example of how quickly things can change, particularly when burning in windy conditions. We can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared and choosing to burn only when conditions are favourable,” said Hockley.
Crews from the Hosmer and Fernie fire departments responded to the scene with four pieces of apparatus. The fire was soon contained and fully extinguished.
“Preparation and safety need to be the top two priorities before doing any outdoor burning, including having a water source, shovel or tools, burning when it’s not windy and staying on site monitoring the fire until it is completely out,” explained Hockley. “This very easily could have been a much more serious situation, and it’s critical that people take the proper precautions every time they are burning.”
Regional District of East Kootenay officials said fires can spread quickly at this time of year, as dead grass and other fuel dries out before the moisture-rich vegetation has time to grow.