Quick-thinking Mounties saved the day after spotting a small grass fire in the city. Photo submitted

Fast action by Castlegar cops stops grass fire from spreading

Discarded cigarette butt sparks fire on bush path

Castlegar’s fire chief is crediting quick thinking by local Mounties for stopping a grass fire in the city on Thursday.

Sam Lattanzio says police were driving down Sherbiko Hill on Columbia Avenue yesterday around 4:45 p.m. when they noticed smoke rising off a path just north of 12th Street

“They pulled over, grabbed a fire extinguisher from their car and managed to stop the spread of the fire, and contained it until we got there,” he says. “Which is really awesome.”

“Their quick thinking and action prevented it from becoming more of a concern.”

Lattanzio says his crew arrived about six minutes later with a fire truck, and ensured the fire was out.

About a 5 x 5-metre patch of ground was burned, but no buildings or other structures were threatened by the fire, he says.

“It was most likely caused by discarded cigarette butt,” says the fire chief. “People need to be very careful when discarding smoking materials, cigarette butts, matches, etc.

“One, they shouldn’t be doing that, and Two, they need to be vigilant those items are extinguished.”

Latttanzio says there was plenty of evidence of other cigarette butts being discarded along the walking path.

He says even though it’s early spring, the ground and the forest mat is already very dry.

“It was only the second of May, but have to be aware that it is already dangerous out there,” he says.

 

The fire burned the base of a tree and could have quickly spread much farther. Photo submitted

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