Quick response to grass fire north of Airdrie saves buildings

Quick response to grass fire north of Airdrie saves buildings

09 May 2013

published by www.airdriecityview.com

Canada — The Airdrie Fire Department responded to a grass fire north of Airdrie at about 1:30 p.m. on May 2.

According to a City press release, the fire was on a rural property with two homes and numerous out buildings that were vulnerable due to the rapidly moving fire. Firefighters quickly attacked the leading edge of the fire protecting all structures from any possible damage.

Once the immediate risk was controlled, crews focused their efforts on extinguishing the remainder of the fire which had spread into adjacent grasslands, trees and hedges. Approximately two acres of grassland were scorched by the blaze. Due to the quick actions of crews, damage was minimal and isolated to a few fence posts, stated the release.

Five pieces of apparatus and nine firefighters were on scene for approximately three hours. Two firefighters and a bush buggy unit remained on scene dousing any remaining hot spots. There were no injuries in the incident.

An accidental ignition of dry grass due to a spark from a power tool being used to cut metal has been determined as the cause of the fire.

All residents are reminded to be extremely cautious and if your outdoor work could cause a possible fire hazard please ensure to take the proper precautions.

Large grass fire
It took 36 firefighters just over two hours to douse a grass fire which spread across 30 acres of land in the northeast quadrant of the city, east of Highway 2.

“We had the fire under control just under 6 p.m.,” said Fire Chief Kevin Weinberger who said crews responded the fire, which spread through a number of properties, around 4:30, May 5.

On arrival crews found grass and brush burning quickly and threatening nearby homes and out buildings. From a distance, large plume of smoke could be seen high into the sky.

The winds at the time drove the fire from the south to the north as it quickly consumed approximately 30 acres of grass lands. Crews worked to contain the fire and residents were put on alert to evacuate if required. Residents assisted firefighters by wetting down the grass adjacent to their homes and sheds.

While people in the area were alerted to a possible evacuation, Weinberger said crews, called from Irricana Madden and Balzac to assist Airdrie, were able to contain the flames. Only one building was damaged.

“One building (was damaged) but we are not sure of the previous condition so we are in contact with homeowners now,” he said May 6.

Two firefighters received minor injuries – small cuts Weinberger said — and were treated on scene. No injuries occurred to members of the public.

Weinberger said crews were on scene until 10 p.m. to watch for hot spots and piles of debris

He said estimates on the damage aren’t yet known nor is the exact cause. He said it was possibly caused from the heat of an idling truck in a field.

Fire crews are reminding the public that conditions are extremely dry and remain volatile. Until conditions improve a Level II Fire Ban remains in effect for the City of Airdrie.

The County of Rocky View has upgraded its fire ban to Level III, which prohibits the use of camp stoves and recreational camp fires including approved burn pits with 24 inches or less.

The only exceptions to the ban are the use of an internal fire place and a propane or gas barbecue.

Residents are reminded to be extremely cautious during this time and ensure some method of fire exstingusihment is nearby for any hazardous outdoor work.

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