A controlled burn that went awry nearly resulted in a disaster at the Stella Jones pole yard west of Revelstoke.
Fire chief Rob Girard says the department was notified of the fire a little before 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2.
The pole yard is located about five kilometres west of Revelstoke, on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Twenty members of Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services and two initial attack crews from the local BC Wildfire Service base responded to the blaze that erupted in a debarker pile at the mill.
Firefighters worked to prevent it from spreading to the buildings on site and into the nearby forest. The Revelstoke fire department shuttled up to 20 1,500-gallon loads of water from fire hydrants in the city out to the scene.
“Without this unified fire fight and the resources each service brought to this fire it could have been significantly different fire,” stated Girard in a news release. “I am very pleased with everyone’s effort.”
According to Girard, Stella Jones was conducting a controlled burn at the yard when the wind picked up and sent sparks flying into the mill area.
Crews remain on scene, drawing water from nearby streams to extinguish the fire. The incident is being investigated by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
PHOTO: The pole yard is located behind the Smokey Bear Campground. ~ Photo by Pete Coleman.
PHOTO: Another view of the fire. Photo by Simon Allwein