Grass Fire in Baynes Lake a Reminder of the Dry Conditions

UPDATED:

The BC Wildfire Service is on site and will continue with mop up following yesterday's grass fire in the Baynes Lake area. There are still a number of hot spots in some of the driftwood, which is generating some smoke.

A big thank you to all of the responders who answered the call - and to our fire watch team who spent the night on scene. We are so lucky to have such dedicated members of our community serving as firefighters.

ORIGINAL RELEASE:

Crews remain on fire watch tonight after a grass fire burned 30 acres of grassland in the Baynes Lake area this afternoon.

“The fire originated on a private property. It quickly burned onto crown land and through the dry grasses and driftwood along the shores of Lake Koocanusa,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service Deputy Chief, Michael Hockley. “Fortunately, the winds took the flames away from any residences and our crews were able to keep the fire from spreading into the heavy timber in the area; however, this is a really important reminder for everyone that although things are wet and the snow is just melting, the fine fuels are still dry and fire can spread quickly.”

A total of 17 firefighters and 7 pieces of apparatus from the Baynes Lake, Jaffray and Elko Fire Departments worked to contain the fast moving grass fire, which broke out just before 3 pm in the Kerr Road area. They were joined by a BC Wildfire Service initial attack crew just after 7 pm.  “Our firefighters did a great job containing the blaze in windy conditions,” adds Hockley. “We are also grateful for the assistance of the BC Wildfire initial attack crew and will be turning the scene over to them in the morning.” adds Hockley.  In the meantime, members of the local fire departments will remain on site throughout the night doing fire watch to ensure any hot spots are actioned.

Today’s fire emphasizes the importance of ensuring the proper safety measures are in place and that the conditions are appropriate before doing any outdoor burning.  In addition, residents are reminded to ensure they have researched any burning regulations that are in place through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Resouce Operations and Rural Development prior to doing any burning.  

There are currently no open fire prohibitions in effect for the Southeast fire centre; however, anyone wishing to light a Category 3 open fire must obtain a burn registration number from the Province ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.

To view the current fire bans and restrictions for the Southeast Fire Centre, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.

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