Authorities are warning people to be careful about disposing of cigarette butts after one of them started a grass fire near Irricana, south of Beiseker.
On Sunday afternoon, October 29 around 3:20 p.m., Beiseker RCMP got a 911 call about a grass fire in the ditch along Highway 9, north of Keoma. Fire fighters from Beiseker, Crossfield, Irricana and Rockyview County scrambled to gain control of the fire in severely windy and dry conditions.
The fire spread rapidly and was blown eastward by strong winds. Nearby farmers and residents of the Tscheder Hutterite Colony were able to use farm equipment and create fire barriers, which prevented the fire from reaching any nearby farmyards and residences.
After the fire was extinguished, RCMP and Fire investigators were able to locate the source of the fire, a cigarette butt along the shoulder of Highway 9 near Range Road 270.
Police warn that anyone spotted tossing a cigarette butt out of a car window can be fined for littering. If they are responsible for a fire, they could be charged with mischief or criminal negligence, and be liable for any damages.
If you see a grass fire, call 911. If you see someone throwing a cigarette butt out of a vehicle, contact police with the information, but don't confront them yourself.
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