Squirrel causes grass fire in 100 Mile House

The fire grew to several meters, stretching across a front and toward a house

If lightning and human-caused fires weren’t enough this season, a hapless squirrel was at the centre of the latest fire attended to by the 100 Mile Fire Rescue team.

On Sept. 5, a squirrel raced up a hydro pole along 103 Mile Lake Road. Fire Chief Roger Hollander says the creature hit the transformer on the power pole and was electrocuted, falling to the ground, where a grass fire quickly started.

A potentially destructive scenario was turned into a happy one, when a quick thinking neighbour saw the fire across the street.

“We heard the bang, the power went out and then about five minutes later I looked out the window and the whole front was on fire, so I just ran over, picked up the hose,” says Jim McMahon.

The fire had grown several meters by then, stretching across the front of the lawn and approaching the next door neighbour’s yard, as well as some nearby trees.

“I was thinking, ‘Uh-oh. That’s not good,’” says McMahon.

He says he headed off the fire with the hose, preventing it from spreading any further.

“I stopped a bunch of it first, slowed it down because it was burning pretty good over here, and then up under the tree.”

The fire was out by the time 100 Mile Fire Rescue arrived. McMahon was still watering the grass down but says it only took a couple of minutes to put out the fire.

While the squirrel knocked out power to the surrounding areas, BC Hydro arrived on scene shortly after the fire department and power was restored to the community shortly after.

In a season where wildfires have spread in a matter of days and evacuated communities, including the 103 for several weeks, McMahon says they’re lucky.

“We’re lucky. We’re lucky … because it was up under the tree here, we’re lucky it didn’t get into the tree and carry off, because everyone’s lawns are so dry,” says McMahon.

“We just got really lucky, that’s all.”

Just Posted

Dryer incident at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Whispers and BETHS receive extension

After hours of debate, the groups will be permitted to remain in their Riverside Drive space.

Heinrich hired as CAO

Heinrich has been acting in the role since March 2017.

Power out, restored in some areas

While power is now on for some of the Boundary, as many as 2,000 may still be in the dark.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

Most Read