Willow Creek grass fire caused by accident

RM OF WILLOW CREEK — A grass fire which consumed 460,000 square metres of brush and field in the RM of Willow Creek is attributed to a vehicle heating up the grass causing it to ignite.

Melfort Fire responded on April 29 at 2:40 p.m. to a grass fire, called in by the operator of the vehicle which is believed to have caused the accidental fire.

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Shaun Stewart, Melfort’s fire chief, said some possible ways the vehicle could have ignited the grass is through sparks or hot exhaust.

“That’s what we’re figuring it came from,” he said.

Crews attacked the leading edges to stop forward progress.

Stewart said the strong winds kept changing, causing the flame to move quickly, but crews were able to contain it through discers.

“That one was out in the middle of the field, there was no endangerment to any structure whatsoever.”

Once the fire was contained, crews went back over the burnt area to extinguish all hot spots.

The department finished up the call and returned to base around 6:30 p.m.

Nobody was injured.

When Stewart was asked if there was a message he would like to get out, he said that if someone wants to start a controlled fire right now, keep a way to extinguish it nearby.

“Keep an extinguishment source close by. The wind is moving so fast right now that if they don’t have an extinguishment source close by, it’s going to get away from them.”

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