Warm, dry weather means busy month for fire crews

Warm, dry weather means busy month for fire crews

1 February 2006

published by www.cochranetimes.com

Alberta, Canada — Two more fires in the Cochrane area this past week are part of an influx of response calls in January for the Cochrane Fire Department compared to the same period lastyear.

This year, there have been 41 calls to the department in January as opposed to 28 a year ago, a jump which Fire Chief Wally Irons attributes to the extreme dryness thiswinter.

“It’s definitely because of the lack of moisture we’ve had,” Irons said.

“People need to be very careful with their cigarette material and barbecue programs,” hewarned.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, one of the largest fires of the season left nearly four acres of grass burnt at the bottom of the Cochrane hill on the north side of Highway 1A.

“It didn’t involve any homes, but a couple of fence posts were burnt,” Irons said, adding that other than that, it was strictly a grass fire.

Irons said the call came in at 6 p.m., and it took fire crews three hours to respond, extinguish the fire, and clean up.

Irons said the cause of the grass fire is still under investigation.

A fire early Monday morning at a home in Sunterra Heights, caused the fire department to give out warnings to people with wood burningfireplaces.

“In the interest of chimney maintenance, keep creosote levels to a minimum,” Ironssaid.

Creosote is the buildup that collects in the chimney from burning wood.

Irons said people can do this by getting their chimneys cleaned on a regularbasis.

Early Monday at approximately 4 a.m. Cochrane fire crews responded to the call inSunterra.

“Crews got on the roof, took the top off the chimney, extinguished the fire and cleaned out the build up of soot and creosote,” Ironssaid.

Luckily, the fire was contained to the chimney and no one was hurt, Irons said.


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