Dry conditions spark grass fire in Abbotsford

Officials are warning the public to be wary of outdoor fire risks following hot, dry weather

Dry conditions spark grass fire in Abbotsford

Abbotsford fire officials are reminding residents to be aware of the potential for grass and brush fires following a period of hot, dry weather.

Just before noon on Monday, fire crews were called to Ten-Broeck Elementary, located at 2580 Stanley St., for a reported grass fire.

When crews arrived, the fire was spreading along the fence line and into surrounding blackberry bushes.

Officials said the blaze could have been caused by a discarded cigarette butt.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Helmer urged smokers to use non-combustible ashtrays and to never flick their cigarette butts onto the side of the road.

“Even one carelessly discarded cigarette can cause a major fire in a matter of minutes,” he said.

Helmer also suggested that residents make themselves familiar with the city’s burning regulations.

The City of Abbotsford regulates all outdoor burning between June 1 and Sept. 30, and a total burning ban is in effect. This includes campfires, burn barrels and even wood-fuelled burn pits.

Outdoor cooking is permitted using charcoal briquettes, natural gas or propane-fuelled appliances, as these fuels are not included in the annual ban.

There is a $500 fine for discarding burning substances (including cigarettes) and a $500 fine for burning during the fire ban. People that cause accidental fires may also be charged cost recovery fees or possibly face criminal charges.

Contact the AFRS non-emergency line at 604-853-3566 regarding any questions on outdoor burning in the City of Abbotsford.