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Grass fire near golf course comes dangerously close to homes

Firefighters from Smithers, Telkwa, Houston and BC Wildfire responded
Grass fire west of Smithers evacuated some homes in the area. (Contributed photo)

It was all hands on deck to battle a grass fire west of Smithers on May 4.

In total, 28 firefighters attended the scene, including crews from the Smithers, Telkwa, and Houston fire departments as well as BC Wildfire Service.

Firefighters were first called out to the area near Banff Avenue around 3 p.m and Smithers Fire Chief Kelly Zacharias said they had it under control by around 4:30 p.m.

A BC Wildfire crew then had to take down dangerous trees before firefighters could mop up and spray down all the high-level hot spots.

“By the time we were totally finished, by the time we left the scene, it was about nine o’clock, so it was about six hours we were on scene and then about an hour worth of cleanup once we got back to the hall,” Zacharias added. “It was pretty hot, dense work there for the first part.”

One person suffered burns to their hand and was treated on scene.

The cause is still under investigation.

A few homes were evacuated as a precaution and a reception centre was set up to provide information to members of the public affected by the fire.

“The only thing that got lost there was a tree fort, which we’re really fortunate,” Zacharias said. “But it came right up to the edge of three different properties. It could have been a lot worse so we’re very happy with the knockdown and the residents were very thankful and supportive. I’m just really thankful to Village of Telkwa and the District to Houston and the BC Wildfire Service for their support in that call.”

There is no burning allowed within town limits right now and while certain types of burning are currently allowed within the regional district, Zacharias advises against it because conditions are so dry.


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Grass fire west of Smithers. (Contributed photo)
Fire crews from both Smithers and Telkwa came out to help battle the blaze on Thursday afternoon. (Photo from Facebook)

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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