The Cranbrook fire department responded to two small fires over the weekend, as temperatures continue to soar and conditions dry up.
Scott Driver, the deputy director of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services, says crews attended a small spot fire up in the Echo field area of town on Saturday.
“It turns out there were three small separate fires at that one, so it does appear to be a human-caused fire but we can’t determine exactly what started it,” said Driver.
Early notifiication by local RCMP was instrumental in knocking it down as quickly as they did, Driver added.
The second fire, reported later that afternoon, was more serious.
Located in the Standard Hill area of town, the fire spread to roughly half an acre due to dry conditions and high winds, Driver said.
Again, early notification was key to getting it under control quickly, he added.
“It serves as a very good reminder, early in what is our fire season starting now, that the forest is full of fuel partly due to years of fire suppression,” Driver said, “but also to significant beneficial rainfalls that we’ve had all spring — they were perfectly timed to get deciduous shrubbery growing well in the spring.
“Now, we’re looking at a situation where that starts to dry out and we’re all at risk.”
The B.C. Wildfire Service was called out to assist with the afternoon fire.
The Southeast Fire Centre announced a Category 2 fire ban effective Monday afternoon.
Campfires less than a half-metre wide by a half-metre tall are still permissible.