Grand Forks Fire/Rescue is investigating an RV fire at the city’s disused Motocross track known as Moto, now the subject of a Supreme Court injunction due to be heard this week.
Dep. Fire Chief Rich Piché said the department was called to Moto at around 2 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 26. Arriving not 10 minutes later, Piché said he saw an RV, a truck and a small structure burning a roughly 15-square metre patch of the track’s lower tier.
“Every single piece of material that was on the ground was burning, and the flames were just starting to lick the surrounding trees,” he told The Gazette Monday afternoon.
The department knocked down the inferno within 20 minutes, thanks partly to an assist from neighbouring Christina Lake Fire and Rescue.
Responding Mounties meanwhile spoke to a man known to be the RV’s single occupant, according to Sgt. Darryl Peppler. The cause of the fire remains unknown as of Monday, Piché said, adding that his investigation was still very much ongoing.
No one was hurt in Sunday’s fire, but the incident inflames an ongoing dispute between Moto residents and city hall, whose lawyers filed an injunction to have the site cleared earlier this summer.
The city’s notice of civil claim, filed July 28, asks a Supreme Court Justice to order five alleged trespassers to leave Moto. The city, which owns Moto, says all five were given written notice in June telling them to leave the camp.
Stating that RVs aren’t allowed at Moto according to zoning bylaws, the city goes on to claim that, “The homeless shelter in Grand Forks is not operating at full capacity.”
Darren Pratt, Executive Director at Boundary Family Services, which operates the shelter, declined to comment on the merits of the city’s case, saying only that shelter occupancy “ebbs and flows.”
“Some nights we’re close to capacity and on other’s we’re not,” he said.
The city’s injunction is due to be heard at the Rossland courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 29, according to the court registrar.