With some very dry and very windy conditions, Estevan Fire and Rescue were kept busy battling a couple grass-fires yesterday.
"At approximately 1:30 in the afternoon," explained Fire Chief, Dale Feser, "Estevan Fire and Rescue crews were alerted to the report of a wildland fire right at the railway easements in the east central side of the city."
"Once crews arrived on scene, we found a rather large, quick moving fire that was moving through the area and threatening the homes of the residents right around the Petterson Drive area."
"There was railway personnel as well that were trying to extinguish the fire. Estevan fire crews took over all suppression efforts and made sure everyone was accounted for with no injuries. They were able to quickly knock it down."
He added that Estevan Police Service provided traffic control on Kensington as the smoke took the visibility down next to zero.
The fire was brought under control with no injuries. A section of PVC fencing was damaged in the fire. The cause of the fire is believed to be from an ember sent off by a CP worker using a grinder in the area. While workers did pre-water the grass in the area, the strong wind took the ember farther than crews anticipated.
Fire crews also responded to another grass-fire later that evening around 9:30 pm.
"We were toned out to the report of a verge large wildland fire out to the west of Estevan on Highway 39 which was southwest of Hitchcock."
"Upon arrival, there was found to be a whole quarter section of land that was on fire. Crews did begin suppression efforts until we noted that there was a farmer with a couple tractors on scene at the very extreme corner."
It was ultimately determined that this was a controlled burn but one that hadn't been previously reported.
"We want to make sure that anyone who is conducting these controlled burns, that they do contact, 1-866-404-4911. This is a number that is answered 24/7, 365 days a year."
More information can also be found on the provincial government's website.
"We understand that there's a lot of farmers and ranchers that are itching to get into the fields. And seeing that it is a little bit wet, and preventing them from doing that, so they're turning their attention to a little maintenance on their properties such as burning sloughs out."
Feser added that while yesterday was a very windy day and it is not preferable to conduct a controlled burn when the winds are strong, this farmer did wait until the winds had subsided some. He also cautions that while the ground may be still wet, the vegetation is quite dry and the risk of the fire spreading and getting out of control is high.
As for enacting fire bans, Feser shared that they are currently monitoring the situation.
"It sounds like we may receive some moisture probably right around Sunday/Monday. We're going to monitor how much moisture we're going to be receiving and we'll probably make our decision after that."