Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

Fire officials are reminding valley residents not to be fooled by spring time when it comes to outdoor burning.

Tuesday (April 2) was a perfect example when a grass fire got away from a private property owner south of Windermere.

Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Drew Sinclair reported that an individual was burning some grass when the flames jumped out of control. 

“When we arrived on scene, the fire had moved into a stacked wood pile and our firefighters did a good job of containing it quickly and preventing what could have been a much more serious situation.” 

Eight firefighters and three pieces of apparatus responded to extinguish the small blaze. 

“This is a good reminder for everyone about the importance of ensuring the burning conditions are safe and taking steps to be prepared every time you burn outdoors, Sinclair said.

This includes having a water source, shovel or tools, and burning when it’s not windy and staying on site to monitor the fire until it is completely out, the chief explained.

Sinclair said many residents know about the danger of burning during the heat of the summer, but caution is needed in the spring time too, when dead, dry fuels from last season pose a fire risk due to their low moisture content. 

“Never underestimate spring burning conditions. Fires like these are preventable and it is critical that residents ensure they are fully prepared and that conditions are safe if they are planning any outdoor burning,” Sinclair stressed.

The BC Wildfire Services has safety tips on open burning with downloadable pamphlets to help residents be prepared before they burn. Visit