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Windermere firefighters take down grass fire

Windermere firefighters responded to a grass fire on Tuesday afternoon.

Officials with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) said the fire was set south of Windermere.

“A private property owner was burning grass and it got away on them,” said Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Drew Sinclair.

“When we arrived on the scene, the fire had moved into a stacked wood pile and our firefighters did a good job of containing it quickly and preventing what could have been a much more serious situation.”

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RDEK officials said eight firefighters and three pieces of apparatus responded and extinguished the small fire.

“This is a good reminder for everyone about the importance of ensuring the burning conditions are safe and taking steps to be prepared every time you burn outdoors,” said Sinclair.

“This includes 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.”

While fire risk may be high during the summer heat, residents should still be cautious in the early spring months as well.

“This time of year is known as the ‘spring dip’ where the dead, dry fuels from last season pose a fire risk due to their low moisture content and the lush, moisture-rich new vegetation has not yet started to grow,” said RDEK officials.

Sinclair emphasized the importance of fire safety.

“Never underestimate spring burning conditions. Fires like these are preventable and it is critical that residents ensure they are fully prepared and that conditions are safe if they are planning any outdoor burning,” said Sinclair.

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