Human-caused fires raise concerns in Southeast B.C.

Dried grass from last summer is highly flammable in snow-free areas.

  • Mar. 12, 2015 3:00 p.m.

On Monday, March 9th, crews from the Southeast Fire Centre

responded to four new wildfires, all of which were human-caused and

therefore preventable.

Two of the fires were the result of poorly planned open burning:


* Wildfire Management Branch crews supported local RCMP members and fire

departments at a five-hectare grass fire near Lind Creek in Greenwood.

One home in the area was temporarily evacuated.

* A 2.6-hectare fire just outside Baynes Lake was the result of

industrial pile burning and the fire escaped into surrounding grassy



An 11-hectare fire west of Highway 95A and a 15-hectare fire 10

kilometres north of Cranbrook were likely caused by recreational

activities, such as ATVs or dirt bike use. Anyone riding an ATV or dirt

bike should check the condition of the muffler, stay on dirt paths and

avoid tall grasses and weeds.


Monday’s incidents are reminders for the public to remain vigilant with

any recreational activities or open fires, and to ensure that they have

contingency plans in place to extinguish any fire that may escape. The

recent unseasonably mild temperatures, spring-like conditions and low

relative humidity in the Southeast Fire Centre have increased the

wildfire risk in all snow-free areas. Dried grass from last summer has

not had the opportunity to renew itself due to cold overnight

temperatures and so it is highly flammable.