The RDEK is urging residents to use caution while spring burning as early season grass fires are not uncommon. (Cranbrook Townsman file)

The RDEK is urging residents to use caution while spring burning as early season grass fires are not uncommon. (Cranbrook Townsman file)

RDEK urges caution while spring burning

The Regional District of East Kootenay is asking residents to be vigilant while spring cleaning

The Regional District of East Kootenay is urging residents to use caution while spring burning as dry conditions and wind can create ideal situations for things to get out of hand.

The RDEK says that with spring in the air, many people will want to get outside to clean up their homes and properties.

“Anyone doing spring burning must make sure that 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,” said Columbia Valley Rural Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Miller.

The RDEK says that early season grass fires are not uncommon as many people underestimate the burning conditions.

“Many people assume that because the snow has just melted, things will be wet and the fire danger rating is low. However, the fine fuels that were dead and dried up before winter quickly dry out in the spring sun and with no new, lush green grass coming in yet, can burn very quickly,” said Dave Boreen, Rural Fire and Rescue Chief for Elk Valley and South Country.

The RDEK also says it’s important to check with the Southeast Fire Centre or the BC Wildfire Service Website before conducting any burns, as there may be restrictions or bans in place. Some people may also require a burn registration number.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, anyone lighting a Category Three fire must obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717 or emailing hpr.1800@gov.bc.ca.

The BC Wildfire Service website defines a Category Three fire as an open fire that burns material concurrently in three or more piles each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width, material in one or more piles each exceeding two metres in heigh or three metres in width, one or more windrows, or stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares.

As of April 7, there are no fire bans or restrictions on open fires or campfires within the Southeast Fire Centre, or any fire centre in BC for that matter.

In the Southeast Fire Centre there are currently two wildfires that are suspected to be human-caused. One is located in the Boulder Creek area and is estimated to be 7.60 hectares. It is listed as under control. The second is located just south of Invermere, estimated at 5.5 hectares and is also listed as under control.

In the Kamloops Fire Centre there are close to ten fires burning, including one in Quilchena Creek that is listed as out of control and estimated to be 839 hectares in size. This fire is also suspected to be human caused.

“In rural areas, burning of grass or small brush piles is often one of the first things people do on their properties to kick start their spring clean up,” said Boreen and Miller. “Our message is to make sure to follow the safety precautions every time, no matter what time of year you are burning.”



corey.bullock@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
Kootenay-Columbia MP pans federal budget

Conservative Rob Morrison says budget doesn’t have a plan for long-term spending priorities

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
Man arrested in incident at Canada-U.S. border near Roosville

A man who crossed the border illegally was apprehended by U.S. officials

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

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

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

The golf course in Elkford would need to be re-zoned to allow for 10 camping sites. (Image courtesy of District of Elkford)
Elkford to consider allowing campsites at golf course

The district has expressed support for 10 campground spaces at the golf course

Most Read