Crews battling wildfire outside Cranbrook

Reported on Thursday afternoon, crews are currently containing a small 2.5-hectare wildfire just outside the city.

An air tanker surveys a 2.5-hectare wildfire just outside Cranbrook on Thursday afternoon.

An air tanker surveys a 2.5-hectare wildfire just outside Cranbrook on Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews are currently battling a 2.5-hectare grass and tree wildfire a few kilometres northeast of Cranbrook near Eager Hills as of Thursday afternoon.

Reported at 1 p.m., the fire was quickly attended to by one 20-person crew, an initial attack crew, and aircraft. The cause is currently under investigation.

Fanny Bernard, a fire information officer with the Southeast Fire Centre, is warning people to be careful this weekend in light of the heat wave.

There is currently a Category Two open fire ban in the region.

Bernard also referenced the dangers that come from a recent lightning storm that passed through the region a few days ago. Though precipitation can dampen embers from a lightning strike, there is still a danger from holdover fires.

“Holdover fires are what happens when a tree blows up from lightning and sends embers around the impact area,” Bernard said.

“They smoulder, because maybe the conditions are ripe for it to flare up again…then you get a few days of dry weather, wind—this weather that we’ve been having lately is perfect for fires to ignite again from holdovers.”

Campfires are not currently restricted, but Bernard urges people to be safe and vigilant about their fire activities.

Be mindful of a campfire site selection—don’t start a fire on organic soil or a tree root system and make sure there is a one-metre guard from any combustable materials.

Make sure you have eight litres of water to put the fire out or have a hand tool such as a shovel for the same purpose. If it is windy, having a campfire is not a good idea and don’t ever leave a fire unattended, Bernard added.

Be mindful of driving and parking off-road ATVs and dirt bikes as well, she added, as the heat from the exhaust can be ignite dry grass and spark a wildfire event.

To report a wildfire, dial *5555 on a cellphone, or call 1-800-663-5555.