The Casino Road fire appears to be from a deserted camp. Photo: Kootenay Boundary fire department

The Casino Road fire appears to be from a deserted camp. Photo: Kootenay Boundary fire department

Trail firefighters rush to douse blaze on Casino Road

KBRFR is investigating a fire on the bank of the Columbia River near downtown Trail

A blaze that flared up along the Columbia River about three kilometres from downtown Trail on Friday was quickly doused by regional firefighters.

A 13-person crew from Station 374 in Trail responded to the Aug. 6 call when, at around 11 a.m., smoke along a Casino Road embankment could be seen from across the valley.

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Chief Dan Derby said firefighters acted fast to get it under control.

“We arrived to about a 50-metre wildfire and got it under control fairly quickly,” said Derby. “It appears to be the remnants of a camp, and we’re working with the RCMP to investigate the cause.”

A resident noticed the smoke while driving down the Montrose cutoff on Highway 3B and alerted the Trail Times.

The fire was started on dry ground, amongst willows and deciduous trees, so it did not spread rapidly.

“We held it to that 50-by-50 size and had it to what we deem as ‘fire control’, so we did it in about five or 10 minutes,” explained Derby.

Firefighters from Station 374 in Trail mop up after a fire was started on the bank of the Columbia River.

Firefighters from Station 374 in Trail mop up after a fire was started on the bank of the Columbia River.

But with past record heat and drought conditions, he says no one should be venturing into the woods to camp or for any other reason.

“It’s just super high risk, super concerning right now to be doing any activities in and around the forest. This fire in different vegetation is a whole other story, so we’re just lucky it happened where it happened.”

Greater Trail has seen several close calls with wildfires and structure fires in Trail and Rossland this summer, and last week lightning caused a wildland fire near Fruitvale, which was put out within 24 hours. As well, there’s been several fires in Salmo and on the Bombi in the past month.

“I’m happy we got it under control really quickly, and a reminder to residents about the campfire bans and all those things that are in place,” added Derby. “The crews did a great job, and it’s times like this you see the value in our service, and to get a fire like this under control so quickly is a job well done.”

Derby says Kootenay Boundary is fortunate to have the resources it has, and takes pride in the cooperation with each municipal fire crew, BC Wildfire Services as well as the respective search and rescue teams.

Read: Industrial fire outside of Trail ravages recycling plant



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