Residents urged to use caution when spring burning
With spring in the air, many people will be heading outside to do spring clean-up around their homes and properties and the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is urging residents doing any spring burning to use caution.
“Anyone doing spring burning must make sure 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 & Rescue Chief Jim Miller.
Early season grass fires are not uncommon as many people mistakenly 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,” explained Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Dave Boreen.
In addition, before doing any burning, residents should check with Southeast Fire Centre or visit the BC Wildfire Service website at bcwildfire.ca to make sure they are aware of any restrictions or bans that may be in place and whether they need a burn registration number.
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.
“Our message is to make sure to follow the safety precautions every time, no matter what time of year you are burning,” added Boreen and Miller.
Lead image: Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services knocked down a grassfire near the city on March 24. Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services photo