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Fine Levied After Escaped Fire in Hosmer

Members of the Hosmer Fire Department responded to a grass fire in the Hosmer area on Monday afternoon, which quickly spread and prompted a quick response from firefighters.

Six firefighters and RCMP responded to the call.

“In spite of the Provincial ban on open burning, a property owner was burning yard waste on his property,” explained 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 onto two adjacent properties.”

No structures were burnt by the flames, and the resident was issued a $1,150 fine for violating the Wildfire Act.

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“We were very lucky the situation wasn’t more serious and our firefighters did a good job of extinguishing the fire.”

A province-wide ban on Category 2 and Category 3 open fires were imposed as of April 16th, prohibiting all open burning larger than half-a-metre for a campfire. The ban also includes the use of burn barrels and fireworks and affects all public and private lands in British Columbia.

Campfires are still permitted under the provincial restrictions as long as they are no larger than half-a-metre high and wide. However, some municipalities like Fernie have imposed a total fire ban, including campfires, and others around the province have prohibited backyard fires as well.

“Every time we get sent to a call it puts our members and first responders at risk,” said Hockley. “There is no excuse for burning right now and we need East Kootenay residents to help us by respecting the open fire restrictions.”

To ensure you are complying with all additional bylaws that may be in place besides the blanket open burning ban in the province, Hockley encourages residents to check with their respective municipal office.

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