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Dry weather contributes to another grass fire in Abbotsford

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service is cautioning people to be wary of dry brush conditions after the second grass fire in as many days took place Friday morning.

The fire began around 8:30 a.m. in the area of Page and Riverside roads in the Matsqui flats, near Mission Bridge.

Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Adams said the fire was sparked by some crews using a grinder to do maintenance work on the railway tracks.

"It grew pretty quick, and it got to about 300 feet by 200 feet and started crawling up the other side of the rail," Adams said.

He said strong winds and dry conditions enabled the blaze to spread quickly.

"The wind carries the fire pretty quickly so trying to get ahead of it is a bit of a problem … and with the dry brush, it doesn't help … It's just tinder dry, as if it was summer time."

Adams said people should be cautious when tossing away burning cigarette butts.

Rail workers were able to contain the fire with a 1,500-gallon tanker truck and portable pump, until AFRS arrived on the scene.

Fire crews extinguished the remaining fire in the grass and brush, as well as the railway ties and garbage along the tracks.

The previous day, crews battled a grass fire on North Parallel Road near Sumas Mountain Road. That blaze began by a spark from a cutting torch that workers were using to take down some signs.

 

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