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‘Out of control’ brush fire prompts reminder from Masset fire chief

Department called to residential brush fire on May 9; fire prohibitions came into effect April 16

The Masset Volunteer Fire Department was called to a beachfront, residential brush fire on Saturday afternoon.

Local search and rescue volunteer Chris Ashurst told the Observer he happened to be in the area when he heard the siren go off and noticed smoke in the air “all over downtown.”

“Then I saw the fire department rolling out with all their trucks, people in gear,” Ashurst said.

Keeping his distance from the emergency response effort, Ashurst used public beach access a couple hundred metres away to get a better view of the scene.

“Looks like the property owner had dumped a lot of yard waste over the bank so the yard waste, tinder-dry grasses, trees and shrub were burning, and spreading pretty quickly,” he said. “It was definitely out of control.”

Ashurst also noted the fire seemed to be getting dangerously close to cedar trees and other homes nearby.

“If it got there I think it probably would have set those on fire,” he said of the cedars. “Probably that would have started threatening the houses in the area.”

ALSO READ: ‘It was violating’: Skidegate fire department called to St. Patrick’s Day cemetery blaze

Fire chief Micha Sakalauski confirmed the department was called on May 9 around 3:30 p.m., and reminded residents that open fire prohibitions came into effect on April 16, which means most open burning activities are now prohibited.

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