Dry conditions and a strong wind created conditions for a busy weekend for Estevan Fire and Rescue. 

"We've had a few calls here," shared Fire Chief Dale Feser. "We had one instance where it was a wildland fire on Sunday. Which the ignition source appeared to be a improper disposal of tobacco or smoking materials."

"The other one was on Saturday. We were out at approximately midnight where it appears that the railbed ties for the railway started on fire. There were crews in the area doing maintenance on the rail track systems and the railbed. We were able to quickly get in there and extinguish that."

They then informed the rail company so they could do an assessment on the properly to ensure no further damage to the tracks that could possibly lead to a derailment. 

Feser added that the dry conditions are starting to be a concern, 

"It is starting to get pretty dry out there already due to the lack of snow that we received and the exposed vegetation and of course, the higher than normal winds actually has sapped a lot of moisture out of the vegetation making that easily ignitable."

"Right now we're currently following the federal maps for fire danger and we're right in from the moderate to high right now so nothing that looks like we'll need to put fire bans in right away but if we don't receive any substantial moisture or precipitation in the next little while, it may be something that we'll be considering putting in quite early."

"The farmers are going to want to get out into the fields as soon as possible and people are trying to clean up their properties as well so if you do want to do any controlled burns, make sure that you're reporting into the provincial dispatch or the controlled burn line. That way they have a record of it and if it is indeed a controlled burn, it's going to avoid an unnecessary response from the fire department to their location."

"If one is conducting a controlled burn, you want to make sure that there are lower wind conditions. We recommend anything lower than 15 km/hr for wind speed. And if at all possible, try and have some suppression equipment out there while you're conducting controlled burns. That way it buys the fire department a little bit of time while we're responding to those locations."

He adds that when a controlled burn gets out of control, call the fire department immediately. 

Feser shared that was also another call over the weekend that needed the fire department's attention. 

"Earlier Saturday, we were toned out to a tree and power line fire. That was indicative of increased wind speeds and tree branches coming into contact with the powerlines resulting in a fire."

He  added that should you come across a fire involving power lines, call 911 and never try and put it out yourself, as electricity could be active in the line. 

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