Resident squashes squirrel-sparked grass fire

“We just got really lucky, that’s all.”

If lightning and human-caused fires weren’t enough this season, a hapless squirrel was at the centre of the latest fire attended to by the 100 Mile Fire Rescue team.

On Sept. 5, a squirrel raced up a hydro pole along 103 Mile Lake Road. Fire Chief Roger Hollander says the creature hit the transformer on the power pole and was electrocuted, falling to the ground, where a grass fire quickly started.

A potentially destructive scenario was turned into a happy one, when a quick thinking neighbour saw the fire across the street.

“We heard the bang, the power went out and then about five minutes later I looked out the window and the whole front was on fire, so I just ran over, picked up the hose,” says Jim McMahon.

The fire had grown several meters by then, stretching across the front of the lawn and approaching the next door neighbour’s yard, as well as some nearby trees.

“I was thinking, ‘Uh-oh. That’s not good,’” says McMahon.

He says he headed off the fire with the hose, preventing it from spreading any further.

“I stopped a bunch of it first, slowed it down because it was burning pretty good over here, and then up under the tree.”

The fire was out by the time 100 Mile Fire Rescue arrived. McMahon was still watering the grass down but says it only took a couple of minutes to put out the fire.

While the squirrel knocked out power to the surrounding areas, BC Hydro arrived on scene shortly after the fire department and power was restored to the community shortly after.

In a season where wildfires have spread in a matter of days and evacuated communities, including the 103 for several weeks, McMahon says they’re lucky.

“We’re lucky. We’re lucky … because it was up under the tree here, we’re lucky it didn’t get into the tree and carry off, because everyone’s lawns are so dry,” says McMahon.

“We just got really lucky, that’s all.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

40 YEARS AGO (1980): Local members of the British Columbia Government Employees… Continue reading

Disaster recovery resources available for CRD residents impacted by flooding

Deadline is Aug. 5, 2020 to apply for disaster financial assistance

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read