Sparks from a moving train are believed to have caused a wildfire west of Sicamous.
The blaze started west of Sicamous, on tracks down from the Old Sicamous Road trail. It was reported by the railway crews Wednesday, July 11, at about 12:30 a.m. Though it was out of the Sicamous Volunteer Fire Department’s jurisdiction, they were paged to provide the initial attack on what Fire Chief Brett Ogino described as a “low-level fire,” roughly 100 by 400 feet in size.
“We ran a couple of truckloads of water down to it and basically took it from a low-rank fire to just embers and stuff,” says Ogino. “They (Forestry) monitored it for the night and put a crew on it first thing in the morning. They just hammered it and put it out.”
Ogino noted that the fire was out of the Sicamous fire department’s protection area, “but it was a Forestry gig, so we were covered on it.”
Forest fire season has begun, with this incident showing just how dry the forests are and how quickly fire can spread, warns the fire department.
As of Friday, the Kamloops Fire Centre had posted a high danger warning for the Salmon Arm area (there was no data for Sicamous). The Fire Centre has also issued a ban on open fires, which includes the burning of yard waste, the use of burn barrels and the use of fireworks. When such a provincial ban is in place, the District of Sicamous’ fireworks bylaw prohibits the use and sale of fireworks within the district.
The Fire Centre has not issued a ban on campfires.