One of the two fires on Friday, Aug. 14 could have been avoided according to Grand Forks Fire Rescue, especially considering the ban on blazes larger than a small campfire.
“That’s one of the things right now. It’s hot, it’s dry, we had an unseasonable wildfire season, but we’re getting into it now,” said Grand Forks Fire Chief George Seigler. “You look out there and it’s not hard to see that the hills are dry.”
The first reported fire was called in at 1:30 p.m, about a burning hayfield on Old North Fork Road. The cause of that fire is currently undetermined. Around 625 square metres of the field were consumed by the fire before it could be extinguished.
Twelve firefighters, three engines, two tenders and two support vehicles attended the blaze. The fire was extinguished in about a half-hour, with the fire crew staying on the scene until 4:30 p.m. No buildings were threatened by the flames.
The second call on Friday came in shortly after 7 p.m. on a grass fire on Hardy Mountain Road. The fire had been started by the owner of the property, and it had grown out of control. By the time it was extinguished, it had grown to around 400 square metres, and was encroaching an abandoned barn.
“The provincial ban is on right now,” said Seigler. “This person shouldn’t have been burning. In terms of education, the owner was educated. It’s so well advertised now, by the media, by the fire department, by word of mouth, that the fire bans are on. It’s unfortunate, this one could have been avoided, but it wasn’t.”
One engine, two tenders, two support vehicles and 12 firefighters attended the second fire. The scene was cleared by 9:30 p.m.