Grand Forks firefighters put out another trailer fire at 9175 Granby Rd., Friday morning, Nov. 6, according to department officials.
Friday’s was the fourth “suspicious” fire attended by Grand Forks Fire/Rescue at the property since Tuesday, Nov. 3, Deputy Fire Chief Stephane Dionne told The Gazette.
Dionne said firefighters arrived at around 8:45 a.m. to find a burning trailer in a large hole he described as “a burn pit.” Crews from halls in Grand Forks and the North Fork very quickly put out the flames, without injury.
Dionne said the fire posed an environmental hazard because the trailer was laden with plastics and insulation, materials not allowed in permitted burns because they give off harmful air pollutants.
The department has to respond to all fires at properties within a fire-protection area that goes past Grand Forks city limits, said Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Chief Administrative Officer Mark Andison. The district is investigating a number of alleged land-use violations on the property, said Andison.
The City of Grand Forks is weighing its options about how to recoup some of the city and district funds that have gone toward this week’s fires at the property, according to Grand Forks CAO Duncan Redfearn.
Meanwhile, Deputy Fire Chief Dionne explained that his department spent around $15,000 battling Tuesday’s trailer fires alone.
“It is a lot of salary and operational costs, and that’s money that we can spend elsewhere.”
That amount is roughly what it would cost the department to send all its officers and volunteer firefighters to three training courses, he said.
The four fire calls to the property saw four trailers burn in three days. Investigations by Dionne and Deputy Fire Chief Rich Piché listed the causes of Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s fires as undetermined but “suspicious,” meaning no natural causes or ignition sources were identified. Grand Forks Fire/Rescue was called back to the scene Wednesday night after the hulking remains of trailers which burned in Tuesday and Wednesday mornings caught fire a second time, according to Chief George Seigler.