Grand Forks firefighters clean up the scene after dousing a fire that sprang up near Spraggett Bridge on Sunday. (Chris Hammett/Submitted)

Grand Forks fire crews battle bush fires over Father’s Day weekend

No cause was determined for the fire near Spraggett Bridge

Grand Forks fire fighters responded to a suspicious fire at 10:45 last Sunday morning, after a neighbour to section of river bank along the Kettle River near Spraggett Bridge dubbed “Smoker’s Beach” saw smoke coming from the trail to the water.

By the time they had arrived, the fire department said, the fire had grown to be approximately 20 feet wide by 30 feet long. The resident had tried unsuccessfully to knock out the flames earlier on with a fire extinguisher. Firefighters spent nearly two hours ensuring that the fire was completely out.

“It’s odd that there’s a fire at the edge of a trail,” said a representative from the fire department, noting that the crew found no sign of a campfire or any cigarette butt.

“You could see no signs of anybody, [like] garbage or cans left,” they said.

Last Friday, however, Grand Forks fire crews had to deal with such a blaze at Gilpin Forest Service Road and Highway 3. That fire was the result of a campfire that had gotten out of control, officials determined, noting a burnt pile of wood at the scene.

Both times, the fire department said, “we got lucky.”

“We’re lucky we still have some green left over,” the official said about the plant life around the site of Sunday’s fire.

“If it happened in August, I don’t think we would have the same outcome.”

Elsewhere across the Southeast Fire Centre, dry weather and storms have threatened to light up forests around the region. Last week, a storm system that moved through the West Kootenay sparked at least five small fires.

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