Power surge to blame for Coldstream, B.C., grass fire: officials

Power surge to blame for Coldstream, B.C., grass fire: officials

Sunday’s grass fire in Coldstream, B.C., was caused by a power surge at a line near a residential area, according to Coldstream Fire.

As of Monday morning, Coldstream Fire said the blaze was completely extinguished and reported that there was no property damage other than to the hillside.

The fire started at 2 p.m. on a steep hillside behind Scenic Place.

Colin O’Hara, Deputy Fire Chief with Coldstream Fire, said the blaze was started when “a power line took a surge and the insulators let go, which sent sparks and flames down the pole.”

The fire then ignited some grass and spread quickly.

The fire, though only just over two hectares in size, was concerning considering how close it was to homes in the area.

“We were very concerned,” said O’Hara.

“The houses are built on a hill, so it started behind a house along a hydro line and was burning uphill towards other homes.”

O’Hara also said that due to the landscape, crews had challenges in snuffing out this blaze.

“It’s a very steep slope,” he said, adding that getting a water supply on all sides of the fire proved difficult due to the topography of the area.

Coldstream Fire also brought in a private contractor to assist in digging a fireguard along the perimeter of the fire.

“I think (the fire) caught everyone off guard. We’ve had a lot of rain. It’s just a reminder to everybody that it’s awfully dry out there and we are in high fire danger.”

Coldstream Fire reminds people to always report smoke sightings and to be cautious with fire hazards especially when conditions are dry and windy.