Shed damaged, campground dodges flames in 2 separate Oliver fires
OLIVER — Two fires, sparking within minutes of each other, kept fire crews in Oliver busy on Saturday afternoon.
The Oliver Fire Department (OFD) was first called out shortly before 2:15 p.m. to a brush fire just outside the Loose Bay campground on Seacrest Hill Road near 129 Street with a dozen fire fighters responding.
Rob Graham with the OFD says it was an unattended campfire that spread, growing to about a hectare. He says the wind pushed the fire away from the campground, which was full of campers, many of whom are out-of-town fruit pickers.
“The concerning thing would have been, had the winds been blowing the other direction, it would have pushed the fire right through the campground and gone through thicker brush… and people scrambling everywhere and personal belongings,” says Graham.
Graham is reminding the public that there is a campfire ban in effect within the Oliver fire protection area.
Graham says the people in the campground at the time made the job of firefighters harder “because they were wandering around and getting in the way of fire crews.” However, crews were able to quickly knock down the fire.
“On that note, I also just want to reiterate that people should pull over and stop for emergency vehicles. The highway is not as big of a problem but on city roads it’s harder to navigate through traffic and it becomes more of a danger to pedestrians and other vehicles,” says Graham.
While the OFD crews were working to put out the grass fire, they were called to a report of a structure fire on Number 9 Road near 326 Avenue around 2:20 p.m.
“We got to the scene and found a two-storey workshop, shed, type structure and found a fire inside that, mainly in the upper floor of that structure. The lower portion, the fire hadn’t gone into,” says Graham.
Graham says the shed was about 30 metres away from the home, where people were inside at the time of the fire, but he adds there was no risk of the fire spreading to the home.
Crews were able to quickly put out the flames, however, there was significant damage to the upper floor of the detached workshop, according to Graham.
The fire is not believed to be suspicious.
Members of the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department were called in to assist with the brush fire near the campground as several OFD members left to attend the scene of the structure fire.