Adrian Bachorcik, the chief of the Bienfait Fire Department, says that Friday’s grass near Hirsch was the largest he has seen in the department’s immediate response area for some time.
Members of the Bienfait, Frobisher, Estevan and Portal fire departments were called to the fire Friday at 1:15 p.m. The Estevan department was called through a mutual aid call.
Bachorcik estimates that about 25-30 firefighters were dispatched to the blaze, which occurred less than two kilometres south of Hirsch. Crews spent nearly four hours at the scene.
“When we initially showed up for the response, it had already travelled a mile,” said Bachorcik. “And then we dispatched crews from there to suppress the fire.”
The amount of acres affected is not yet known.
He believes it started from hay bales.
“From what I heard from neighbours and other people that were talking at the scene, it was hay bales,” he said.
It’s believed the bales were still smoldering or in the partial burning phase when the winds kicked up and caused the fire to spread.
Bachorcik said the wind was the biggest challenge, as it gusted up to 50-60 kilometres an hour.
“It was a bad timing for that fire to happen, especially with how the winds were, and how they were travelling, too,” said Bachorcik.
Bachorcik said the firefighters who responded from the different departments did a good job of working together.