Earlier this week, a grass fire was reported in Rosedale just off of highway 56.
The news of yet another fire in the Drumheller area comes as a surprise, as well as a disappointment. This fire was not electrical in nature or a cause of agricultural work. The fire was in fact, started by a resident in Rosedale for recreational purposes and took fire crews about an hour to get under control.
"He had thought he put it out," said Fire Chief Bruce Wade. "He checked it the next morning, again, thought it was out. The wind picked up during the afternoon, rekindled it and that spread it to railway ties, power-poles and fence."
There is a fact here that might be easily over looked if not outlined. The fact that the fire, although now under ground, was still burning without the knowledge of the resident who ignited it.
"Wet the fires down. Stir it all up. Wet it down again and make sure it's cold, rather then just assuming," educated the Fire Chief. "Because it (the fire) gets underground and sits there (hot) dormant until we get a wind."
Wade points out that wind, especially if it's fast enough, can catch and sweep up this heat and discarded remnants of a fire and carry it to another area where a fire can obviously occur.
Wade recalls a situation from last year that also happened in Rosedale where a fire smouldered underground for three days before being reignited and picked up by the wind, causing a separate fire.
"(It's) human error," said Wade. "People get into a rush and forget. I would think(putting out fires properly) would be common sense."
The moral of this story is to be checking that your started fires are completely out before heading inside. Is the area damp, does it feel warm and is the fire out? Surveying the area where you've held an open fire could help save money and potentially lives.