Busy Weekend for Peace River Firefighters
April 30, 2018
Peace River and Local Fire Departments had a busy weekend in Peace River with four outdoor fires.
On Friday night, April 27, at 9:40 pm, Peace River Fire Department responded to a fire in the gravel pit next to the Misery Mountain Ball Diamond. On arrival, crews found a large pile of logs and brush on fire with no one in attendance. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire and there was no damage to any structures or infrastructure. No injuries were reported, and crews were back in service in 2 hours.
On Saturday, April 28, at 5:30 pm, crews responded to a large wildland fire that was occurring along the railway tracks in the area between the Peace River Hospital and the Weaver Welding property on the west side of Peace River. With windy conditions and fire spreading towards some structures and a large fire load, additional resources were called in from Weberville Fire Department and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry fire crews. A helicopter and bucket were also deployed to assist in areas that were inaccessible. 19 firefighters worked on the fire for over 5 hours, with no structures or infrastructure damaged. One firefighter suffered a minor injury. The cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed.
On Sunday, April 29 Peace River Fire Department was called out at 4:30 in the morning for a fire along the rail tracks on the East Hill in Peace River. The fire was in the bush and grass on both sides of the track between 100 Avenue (at the underpass with Highway 2) and the Railway trestle bridge over the Heart River. The fire was bordering Northern Sunrise County so additional crews were called in from St. Isidore Fire Department as well as resources from Weberville Fire Department. Residents in houses on 103rd and 102ndA streets, immediately to the west of the fire, were informed of the fire and the need to be ready to evacuate if required. The fire was quickly controlled in this area and the threat was alleviated. The threat to the rail trestle bridge was the next priority of crews and this was also quickly controlled. No other structures were threatened or damaged. The fire was controlled after 4 hours and no injuries occurred amongst the 16 firefighters. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
Peace River Fire Department was called out again at 1:00 pm on Sunday for a fire on the river bank beside the Riverdrive Mall in downtown Peace River. The fire was quickly extinguished by crews before it could gain a significant size, though it did create a considerable amount of smoke around the mall for a short period of time. No injuries occurred, and the cause of the fire is undetermined.
Peace River Fire Chief, Tim Harris, reminds residents to be cautious when using outdoor spaces at this time of year. “Now that the snow has gone, the dead grass and leaf matter are very dry, and a fire can spread very quickly if conditions are right,” said Harris. “Please be cautious with the disposal of smoking materials as well as the use of fire pits.”
While there is no fire ban in Peace River at this time, fires are only permitted in regulation fire pits that are covered by a metal screen to prevent the escape of embers. Any burning other than in a fire pit requires a Fire Permit that is obtainable from the Town Office during regular business hours.