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Keremeos paramedic urging caution after putting out a fire at Tree to Me Inn

A cigarette in a planter likely started the small fire on the second floor patio
A damaged planter is all that remains after a fire at Tree to Me Inn on April 25. (Jake Rubuliak - Submitted)

A fire likely caused by a cigarette at Tree to Me Inn has a Keremeos paramedic reminding people to be careful ahead of wildfire season.

Jacob Rubuliak was off-duty with another paramedic after finishing their shift for the day and were heading back down towards Keremeos when they spotted flames on April 25.

“It looked almost like a barbecue and I kind of joked that, “Oh, someone’s burning down Tree to Me,” but then we could see there was actually a fire,” said Rubuliak.

The two acted quickly, grabbing an extinguisher from the back of Rubuliak’s truck and climbing the stairs to the second floor patio to put out the fire that was burning in a planter.

Although the fire danger for the area is still fairly low ahead of fire season, a human-caused fire can still be dangerous if it’s not noticed, with a third of all the wildfires in 2022 being caused by people.

“We spent about 10 minutes soaking it with a hose before we went back downstairs, and they had no idea their patio was on fire,” said Rubuliak.

Rubuliak just wants people to be careful heading into the spring and coming fire season. It is a particular concern for the Similkameen, where the region saw a much drier winter than normal.

Princeton, for example, saw only five millimetres of precipitation for all of March.

READ MORE: ‘Precipitation deficit’: Dry conditions in Princeton continue ahead of wildfire season

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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