Firefighters responded to a grassfire in the Baynes Lake area on Friday (April 7) evening, according to the RDEK. Photo courtesy RDEK.

Firefighters respond to grassfire in Baynes Lake area

A grassfire along Jaffray Baynes Lake Road was contained and extinguished late Friday night (April 7) near Baynes Lake, according to the Regional District of East Kootenay.

“The suspected cause of the fire is believed to be from a large appliance which had possibly been filled with some type of combustible material before being detonated, starting numerous large spot fires and quickly spreading,” said Chief Michael Hockley, with Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue.

“It was reckless behaviour and not only showed blatant disregard for the environment but could also have jeopardized people’s safety, including the responding firefighters.”

In spite of the falling rain, the fire grew to approximately two hectares in size before firefighters were able to establish a perimeter around it and get it under control.

“The fact that this fire grew so quickly shows why fire safety is important no matter if there is still a bit of snow on the ground,” said Hockley. “We got really lucky that it was raining and conditions are still somewhat wet. Had this happened in a week or two when all the fine fuels have dried up, this could have been a much more serious event.”

Nine firefighters from the Jaffray and Baynes Lake Departments along with five pieces of apparatus responded to the call.

Fortunately, there were no injuries.

Firefighters returned Saturday morning to ensure any hot spots within the perimeter were no longer smoldering.