A fire on Friday along the Iron Horse Trail filled the air with the smell of burnt grass near the Bonnyville Trailer Park which was quickly extinguished and may have been started by childing playing in the area.
On May 7, the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority quickly battled the blaze which Fire Chief Jay Melvin says could have been a lot worse.
“Well, along the Iron Horse trail, there’s a lot of dry dead grass fairly tall on both sides of the trail,” Chief Melvin told Lakeland Connect. “When we arrived, we had an active fire. The winds were kind of not in our favor, but we were able to luckily get down the trail with our equipment and quickly got a handle on it before it spread either north into the field or west along the trail.”
Chief Melvin says they were lucky that the wind was going away from the trailer park and it would have been a different story if the wind was blowing in the other direction.
When Lakeland Connect arrived on scene a group of children stood nearby and watched as crews put out the fire and Chief Melvin says there was no lightning in the area at the time.
“We did see some young children playing in the area,” Chief Melvin said. “I can’t confirm or deny if they were involved. I didn’t hear anything from the RCMP on that aspect but there was no lightning in the area and no other factors were determined, so I anticipate that human involvement was likely the cause of this fire.”
Chief Melvin says parents should educate their children about fire safety.
“We’ve had several serious calls over the years that that could have been a lot worse. And we understand that a key piece to preventing fires set by children is education from parents. You don’t realize how quickly a fire can get out of hand, and can be life-threatening,” Chief Melvin said.
The public should be reminded Chief Melvin says that these firefighters are volunteers and they have other jobs and have other lives.
“They drop their hat and come to your emergency,” Chief Melvin said. “We need to educate ourselves more about fire safety to prevent set fires because it puts them at risk and their families at risk. So just keep that in mind that all of our firefighters in our community and the surrounding areas are all volunteers. And they do this because they want to help so let’s help them.”