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HomeNewsFire chief says 'reckless' behaviour sparked grass fire near Baynes Lake

Fire chief says ‘reckless’ behaviour sparked grass fire near Baynes Lake

Rain alone was not enough to put a stop to a grass fire that was sparked on Friday evening near Baynes Lake.

The fire grew to about two hectares in size before firefighters were able to set up a perimeter and keep it contained.

Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Hockley said the fire was most likely human-caused.

“The suspected cause of the fire is believed to be from a large appliance which had possibly been filled with some type of combustible material before being detonated, starting numerous large spot fires and quickly spreading,” said Hockley. “It was reckless behaviour and not only showed blatant disregard for the environment but could also have jeopardized people’s safety, including the responding firefighters.”

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RDEK officials said nine firefighters responded to the call with five pieces of apparatus.

Hockley said he was thankful the conditions kept the fire from getting too out-of-hand.

“The fact that this fire grew so quickly shows why fire safety is important no matter if there is still a bit of snow on the ground,” said Hockley. “We got really lucky that it was raining and conditions are still somewhat wet. Had this happened in a week or two when all the fine fuels have dried up, this could have been a much more serious event.”

The RDEK said nobody was hurt by the fire, and crews returned Saturday morning to make sure there were no additional hop spots.

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