Train spark triggers major vegetation fire at Symington Yards Saturday morning

A Winnipeg fire truck. Global News / File

A train spark triggered a major vegetation fire at Symington Yards in Winnipeg on Saturday morning, the city says.

At 7:30 a.m. firefighters found a significant grass and brush fire, approximately one kilometer in length.

The city says crews tackled the fire using specialized equipment, including the WFPS Bison. Crews applied water to the fire while preventing the flames from extending to railcars and structures at the site.

The fire was under control by 8:51 a.m. and no injuries were reported.

Click to play video: 'Fire/travel restrictions in parts of SE Manitoba'
Fire/travel restrictions in parts of SE Manitoba

The city says the fire is believed to have been started by a moving train with a faulty spark arrestor.

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The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is urging Winnipeggers to take steps to prevent grass fires as conditions are expected to be hot, dry and windy over the coming days.

Some helpful prevention tips offered by the WFPS include:

  • Do not dispose of cigarette butts in any sort of vegetation (including grass), in planter pots, or from vehicle windows.
  • Only burn clean, dry, untreated wood. Do not burn yard waste, garbage, or scrap material on your property. Doing so within City limits is prohibited and can result in a fine.
  • Only use approved outdoor fire receptacles such as fire pits, fireplaces and outdoor BBQs. Fire pits must be enclosed on all sides and have a spark arrestor.
  • Always have the means to extinguish the fire readily available.
  • Remember – fires cannot be started, even with a proper fire permit, if wind speeds and/or gusts exceed 25 km/h.

More information regarding prevention can be found on the city of Winnipeg’s website. 

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