The remains of a fifth-wheel trailer stick out of a hole in the ground at 9175 Granby Rd. Friday, Nov. 6. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

City of Grand Forks, fire department deliver fee to Granby Road property for suspicious fires

More suspicious fires at the property following City’s cease and desist letter, said Fire Chief Seigler

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue delivered a fee for service to 9175 Granby Rd. Friday, Nov. 6, after a rash fires at the property later deemed “suspicious” by department investigators, fire and city officials told the Committee of the Whole at council chambers Monday Nov. 9.

RELATED: Grand Forks Fire/Rescue responds to fifth fire at Granby Road property in less than a week

The fee amounted to $3,000, based on 15 people-hours spent fighting the flames at $200 per hour, according to Corporate Officer Daniel Drexler. The bill was attached to a cease and desist letter by the City of Grand Forks demanding a stop to the unpermitted fires on the property, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Duncan Redfearn told The Gazette.

Grand Forks/Fire Rescue has yet to determine how much of its operating budget went the department’s five fire responses to 9175 Granby Rd. since Tuesday, Nov. 3. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks/Fire Rescue has yet to determine how much of its operating budget went the department’s five fire responses to 9175 Granby Rd. since Tuesday, Nov. 3. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Fire Chief George Seigler said the department had put out seven fires stemming from four calls to the property between Tuesday, Nov. 3 and Friday Nov. 6. Grand Forks Fire/Rescue was then called back to the scene Sunday, Nov. 8, to put out three more unpermitted burns, each considered to violate environmental protection measures under the Environmental Management Act, Seigler added.

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue Chief told the Committee of the Whole that he’d hand-delivered a cease and desist letter with a service fee to 9175 Granby Rd. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue Chief told the Committee of the Whole that he’d hand-delivered a cease and desist letter with a service fee to 9175 Granby Rd. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

CAO Redfearn said “right now, the city’s goal is compliance rather than enforcement.” The property owners at 9175 Granby Rd. can pay the city’s fee or potentially face liens against their property, he explained.

Chief Seigler said he expected to have his report on Sunday’s fires to the Office of the Fire Commissioner some time Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Cost estimates based on the department’s fee structure with British Columbia’s Wildfire Office suggest last week’s fires at 9175 Granby Rd. would amount to $47,000, Seigler explained.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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