Spark ignites grass fire near Grouard

Bombs away! A water bomber douses flames at a grass fire near a residence on Highway 750 on April 28.
Bombs away! A water bomber douses flames at a grass fire near a residence on Highway 750 on April 28.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Continued dry conditions and wind aided a grass fire south of Grouard that lasted several hours April 28.

Fire spread about 200 hectares along Highway 750 about 10 km north of Highway 2. Firefighters were called at 3:10 p.m. to fight the blaze, says Big Lakes County fire chief Leo Tobin.

Crews from Grouard, Enilda, and Joussard were joined by Forestry with two helicopters with water buckets and two water bombers.

“A teenage boy said he was welding and cutting inside an old bus when he noticed the fire that spread rapidly in the yard,” Tobin says.
“Wind fanned the flames very quickly.”

The entire yard was on fire, including several old vehicles, then spread north on neighbouring land, he says.

No buildings were damaged or destroyed in the incident.

Firefighters departed the scene about 8 p.m. after the fire was extinguished.

The wildfire hazard remains “extreme” in the High Prairie area as warm temperatures and no precipitation are forecast for this week.

Last week’s grass fire is a reminder for people to be cautious when working outdoors where sparks could ignite grass.

“If you’re welding or cutting, check the weather, wet the ground around, and check the wind to make a safe decision about doing such work,” Tobin says.

Fire chiefs also advise people to be cautious outdoors.

For any questions regarding the fire situation, phone Tobin at [780] 776-0007 Monday to Friday during the day and [780] 523-8778 evenings and weekends.

For residents of the Town of High Prairie, phone fire chief Ken Melnyk at his office at [780] 523-3525.

As always, call 310-FIRE [3473] immediately to report a wildfire.

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