UPDATE: Grass burning caused Erickson home fire, ban not yet lifted

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  • Sep. 17, 2012 7:00 p.m.

What started as a homeowner burning grass in an Erickson Road yard led to a house burning to the ground on Thursday.

“Sadly, this fire could have been avoided,” Creston Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Michael Moore said this morning. “A grass fire near the adjacent shed appears to have been the cause. There is a provincial burning ban in place prohibiting all open burning except campfires less than a half meter in size within a contained fire pit. We have had no where enough rain or moisture to lower the hazard.”

The residential structure fire was reported to the fire department at approximately 2:20 p.m. Upon arrival, the fire department was met with a house that was significantly involved with fire, an adjacent shed fully involved in fire, as well as a vehicle parked next to the house.

“Due to the size of the fire, the only safe approach was a defensive mode, keeping firefighters outside of the structure,” Moore said. “With confirmation that no one was in the house, there was no reason to risk the safety of firefighters to save what was already significantly lost.”

Sixteen firefighters from Creston, with water supply support from both Canyon-Lister and Wynndel-Lakeview fire departments, spent over three hours to extinguish the blaze. Canyon-Lister fire department also provided some additional firefighters to assist in bringing the fire under control.

Creston Fire Rescue responded to two other calls last week, including a false alarm and an open fire that was contrary to a provincial fire ban.

On Saturday evening, firefighters were called out to deal with an open burning complaint in Erickson where a property owner had a large fire.

“The fire had to be extinguished due to the burning ban in place and it not meeting anywhere close to the requirements of a campfire,” Moore said.

The provincial burning ban has been in place since July 13, with an update expected to be provided by the province yesterday.

“The update doesn’t necessarily mean that the ban will be removed,” Moore said. “It would not surprise me if it is extended, although with cooler weather in the evening and the dampness, it is possible. Property owners need to check the provincial website to determine if a ban is in place or you may receive a fine.”