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

Soccer games returned to Max Turyk in Fernie this May and June, after a year-long break due to COVID. (Contributed by Yori Jamin)
Fernie kids get stuck into soccer

Youth soccer games returned to Max Turyk for May and June after a year-long break

A small scale example of how big the maximus dinosaur is compared to Sparwood's Titan truck. (Image courtesy of District of Sparwood)
Sparwood goes digging for fossils (maybe)

The district is exploring options that could see it acquire a giant dinosaur skeleton

Pride and Transgender flags wave on the lawn of Fernie's City Hall. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Fernie Pride launches inclusivity survey

The survey will help identify gaps in supports for the LGBTQ2+ community in the Elk Valley

The freshly re-painted rainbow crossings in Fernie in 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Rainbow crossings come to Fernie

Volunteers painted the crossings at 3rd Ave and 5th Street in Fernie in pride colours

Coal Creek and forested land near Fernie, B.C. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Elk Valley Regional Land Trust inks deal with Community Foundation of Kootenay Rockies

Donations to the trusts project to secure forested land in the Elk Valley can now be made through the CFKR

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

Most Read