Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteers attack a hillside fire from top to bottom Tuesday, May 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteers attack a hillside fire from top to bottom Tuesday, May 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Brushfire erupts at rural West Kootenay home

No one was hurt in the fire, according to Grand Forks/Fire Rescue

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue put out a small wildfire that broke out roughly 10 kilometres east of the city on Tuesday afternoon, May 18.

READ MORE: Grand Forks Fire/Rescue puts out hillside fire

READ MORE: Fire starts in Grand Forks backyard after by oily rags left in sun

The BC Wildfire Service’s Grand Forks office alerted the department to the fire at around 1:30 p.m.

The fire started at the edge of a grassy clearing on a rural property above Gilpin Road, east of the Atwood Bridge, according to Dep. Fire Chief Rich Piché.

A log pile smoulders at the foot of a slope which caught fire on a rural property east of Grand Forks Tuesday, May 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

A log pile smoulders at the foot of a slope which caught fire on a rural property east of Grand Forks Tuesday, May 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

A log pile at the bottom of a grassy slope was burning when Piché arrived at the scene at around 1:40 p.m. Around 10 volunteer firefighters then set about battling the flames, using hoses run off two water tankers and a fire engine. The fire was thoroughly extinguished by around 3:00 p.m., by which point firefighters had covered the slope in flame-retardant foam.

Piché said the fire could have been much worse.

“If it had happened in July or August with the wind we had on Tuesday, the whole forest could have gone up.”

The department has responded to more grass and brush fires than he would normally have expected for this time of year.

“I’m nervous for the months ahead,” he said.

Tuesday’s fire appears to have been an accident, he continued. No one was home when the flames broke out, nor were there any signs of suspicious activity at the scene.

The homeowner later told Piché that he had recently burned tree stumps in the grassy clearing, which Piché said may have sparked the fire.

“In the case of a burning stump, all it takes is for an ember to catch on the wind and a fire could easily spark up — even days later.”

A Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteer stand in front of a burning log pile at the scene of Tuesday’s fire, May 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

A Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteer stand in front of a burning log pile at the scene of Tuesday’s fire, May 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Piché said the homeowner was “shocked” at the fire and that he was very grateful for the department’s quick response.

“I think this was a wake-up call for him,” Piché said. “I don’t think he ever thought this would happen in his wildest dreams.”

There were 16 burning wildfires in B.C. as of Wednesday morning, May 19, according to the BC Wildfire Service’s website.

Anyone who sees a wildfire is asked to phone the service’s Wildfire Reporting Centre at 1-800-663-5555.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

firefirefightersGrand Forkswildfire

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read