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HomeNewsFirefighters Extinguish Grass Fire Near Elko Saturday Afternoon

Firefighters Extinguish Grass Fire Near Elko Saturday Afternoon

The Elko and Baynes Lake Fire Departments responded to a grass fire in the Elko area Saturday afternoon, managing to contain the blaze before it spread and caused any further damage.

Six firefighters arrived on scene with one fire engine from Elko and one water tender from Baynes Lake.

“A contractor was burning slash piles in an area where burning is currently permitted. Although he had taken safety precautions and had equipment on site, the fire got away in the windy conditions,” aid Michael Hockley, Deputy Chief of Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire and Rescue. “When we arrived on scene, the fire had spread into the grass and was quickly growing. Our firefighters did a good job of containing the grass fire in and around the highway. We were very lucky it wasn’t worse.”

Natural Resource Officers and the RCMP also attended to the scene, but the fire department were able to contain the blaze before the BC Wildfire Service needed to be dispatched.

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“We recognize there are people in zones where burning is still permitted trying to get spring burning done before next week when Province-wide restrictions come into effect; however, today is a good reminder of the importance of ensuring the burning conditions are safe,” stressed Hockley. “Anyone doing spring burning must make sure they are taking steps to be prepared by 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.”

As of April 16th, a Province-wide ban on Category 2 and 3 Open Fires, as well as burn barrels and fireworks will come into effect.

The scene of the grass fire that broke out on Saturday, April 10, 2020 near Elko. (Supplied by Regional District of East Kootenay)
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