Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department urges residents to be cautious when burning debris right now. (File photo).

VIDEO: Residents reminded to be cautious with outdoor burning following back-to-back fires

Despite snow and frozen ground, grass and trees are ‘tinder dry,’ says Forest Grove VFD Fire Chief Shannon Wagner s

Residents are reminded to be cautious when burning grass and debris after a few wildland fires got away from homeowners in the past week.

Forest Grove volunteer firefighters we called out to two back-to-back small fires Thursday, the following day, 108 Mile Ranch VFD members, along with 100 Mile Fire Rescue and BC Wildfire Service, attended a grass fire off Dawson Road in 105 Mile.

Forest Grove VFD Fire Chief Shannon Wagner said residents should ensure they have a permit and check the index before burning and ensure they have a pail of sand, shovel, rake and access to a good flow of water from an outdoor tap nearby. Although there is still snow on the ground, she said the heavy grasses and the trees are “deceptive.”

In one of the cases Thursday, a fire spread to some trees on the ground and could have gone “really bad” if the wind had picked up, she said.

“It’s sopping wet underneath but in the trees and grass, it’s tinder dry,” Wagner said. “If that grass catches and ends up candling in the trees we’re going south pretty quick.”

Wagner said the fire department is apprehensive with the warmer temperatures anticipated for this weekend and encourages residents to call 911 if a fire looks to be getting out of control. Sand would also help snuff it out quickly, she said.

“Do not hesitate. The minute you think it’s out of control, call 911,” she said.



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

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