It only took minutes for a small burn pile to spread and ignite upwards of five acres of dry grass Saturday.
“Somebody started out with a small burn pile and ended up burning between four and five acres of hillside,” said Bill Wacey, BX-Swan Lake fire chief.
Wacey noticed the burn pile off Old Kamloops Road, which was small at the time, while he was attending a natural gas leak on Highway 97.
“By coincidence I was one-and-a-half kilometres down the road,” said Wacey of the mutual aid call with the Armstrong fire department after a gas pipe was pulled out of the ground by a rake.
“When I looked over about 15 minutes later the smoke was a whole lot darker and bigger.”
Neighbours called in the fire just as Wacey arrived on scene, around 2 p.m. in the 6900 block of Old Kamloops Road.
“I couldn’t see anyone around all I could see was flames everywhere, going in every direction. We had a tractor shed that was threatened pretty severely,” said Wacey.
It turns out the person in charge was about four acres over trying to stop the fire from spreading to his neighbour’s.
Knowing Armstrong crews were just wrapping up down the road, Wacey called them in for mutual aid and firefighters were on scene for close to three hours extinguishing hot spots.
BX-Swan Lake firefighters also put their skills to use Tuesday evening for a prescribed burn off East Vernon Road.
Approximately three to four acres of grass land was used in interface training for the department.