The Estevan Fire Rescue Service (EFRS) was called out to the Torquay area on April 13. Firefighters were dispatched to combat a grass fire.
“Crews did arrive on the scene and worked with the other fire department to bring the fire under control,” said fire Chief Dale Feser. “At this time we still would like to urge everybody that’s out there to use extreme caution especially in a high wind environment.”
There is a lot of moisture in vegetation now, however the wind dries it out quickly allowing the fire spread fast.
“You want to make sure that you do have fire lanes (and) adequate water for suppression. Make sure there is more than one individual when conducting a controlled burn,” said Feser.
He also reminded people that prior to starting a fire on an out-of-town property, they should call the controlled burn line at 1-866-404-4911 and report land location, name and contact information, as well as the type and anticipated duration of burn. And if something goes wrong while burning, report it as soon as possible.
“All of a sudden you get a gust of wind and it becomes out of control, please do not hesitate to call 911, so that way the suppression crews can get out there in a timely manner and bring it down and back under control or extinguish it in a timely manner,” said Feser.
Burning of leaves, branches or any other yard or household waste or debris within the city limits is not allowed, since the wind may easily pick up these types of materials and set something else on fire. The only way to have a yard fire in Estevan is in properly installed fire pit, in which citizens can burn approved firewood.
“If you want to start a fire pit or install a fire pit, you come to the fire station. We basically give a rudimentary map, draws of your property. We just want to make sure there are adequate clearance distances away from any combustible surfaces, and make sure that that is a proper appliance that is being used in order to enjoy the summer and burn safely,” said Feser.
Besides grass fire, the EFRS had one call to attend on April 10 to assist the Estevan Police Service.
A relatively quiet week allowed the fire department to catch up with some of their paperwork and inspections. They also had an opportunity to provide some training with new firefighters.
“We went over fire department communications, and communications externally and internally with other agencies as well,” said Feser.