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Dry Conditions Persist in Spite of Recent Rain and Cooler Temperatures

The Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service is once again urging residents to use extreme caution when undertaking any outdoor burning and to consider other options given the current dry conditions. 

The warning comes after another grass fire escaped, this time in the community of Columere Park on Thursday.  "When we arrived on scene, we found a resident had been burning brush when the fire quickly escaped its initial perimeter, igniting the fine grassy fuels surrounding it," explains Assistant Chief Joss Advocaat. "The fire came dangerously close to a heavy timber stand, and had it not been for the outstanding efforts of our firefighters, this could have been a much more serious incident." 

Fairmont Fire responded with 6 members and 2 apparatus and were able to contain and fully extinguish the fire before it got into the trees.

"I really want to emphasize how dry the conditions are in our province and particularly in the Columbia Valley. We have received a small amount of rain this week, however it is not enough to make a significant impact on the drought conditions we are experiencing. The fuels on the landscape are very susceptible to fire right now," adds Advocaat.

The region is currently in the midst of what is known as the "spring dip" when fine fuels and trees have low moisture content and, as a result, are tinder dry until green-up when new, lush growth begins to fully grow. 

"Residents are urged to consider other alternatives when completing fuel reduction work, such as utilizing the RDEK's East Kootenay FireSmart Neighbourhood Bin Programs, chipping events, or green waste disposal depots in the area and avoid burning if possible," says Advocaat.