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Grass fire a close call for Slaterville structures

Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Service work to contain a grass fire that threatened residence and a school building on Wednesday, April 30, in Slaterville. - Submitted photo
Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Service work to contain a grass fire that threatened residence and a school building on Wednesday, April 30, in Slaterville.
— image credit: Submitted photo

A grass fire threatened residences and a school in Slaterville Wednesday afternoon. Luckily, fire crews were able to attend and put the fire out before it got out of hand.

They got the call mid afternoon Wednesday.

The location of the fire was in a woodland area between residences and the Kootenay Christian Academy preschool building, in the square block between Fifth and Sixth Street NW and Hurry and Briar Avenue NW.

"The fire was moving quite quickly up the hill towards some homes, but we were able to stop it," said Scott Driver, deputy director of Fire and Emergency Services for Cranbrook.

He said the fire got pretty big and a big plume of smoke was visible across town.

At the same time a much bigger plume of smoke could be seen rising from the Ministry of Forest's controlled burn north of the city.

The Cranbrook fire department sent four trucks to Slaterville, including a water tender, a fire engine and a bush truck.

"Just due to the location - it was close to a lot of residences and the school," Driver said. "The fire did make it into the trees and some of the neighbours were quite concerned about the safety of their property."

He said crews aren't sure how the grass fire started, noting though there was burning going on in the area earlier, they couldn't make a determination.

"It didn't look intentional and it didn't look malicious," he said.

He also said RCMP doesn't get involved in these types of incidents.

"I could have ended up being significant, but it didn't," he said. "Everyone got lucky with weather and thing and we're sort of fortunate that way."

Driver noted the fire department wants people to know is that there is no open burning allowed in the city.

"If people are burning their yard waste in the city, that's against the city's bylaws," Driver said. "In the regional district it's allowed under certain conditions that are laid out under the environment and forest services."

He noted there is free recycling at the landfill for those types of material.


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