Quick responses by Warman firefighters to a brush fire in a park near Warman Elementary School and a shed fire on Ens Crescent over the weekend of May 4-5 prevented serious damage in both instances.
Warman Fire Chief Russ Austin said firefighters were alerted to the brush fire on Saturday afternoon, May 4.
“Some people walking in the park heard a popping sound, and then saw some flames in the bush in behind the elementary school,” said Austin. “When our crew got there, it was already a fairly large grass fire, and it took about an hour and a half to get it put out.”
Austin said while the cause of the fire was not conclusively determined, it was definitely not a natural source of ignition.
“We assume it was started by people,” he said. “Fortunately, it was called in early. It could have been very serious. The bush was full of dry grass so there was plenty of fuel.”
A shed fire behind a residence at 540 Ens Crescent in Warman occurred at about 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 5.
Austin said the shed was completely destroyed, and there was damage to the residence and a neighbouring home as well.
“When our guys arrived, the shed as already fully engulfed,” said Austin. “The flames were shooting up about 30 feet into the air, so it was a big one. It posed a serious threat to the two houses closest to the shed. The siding on one house was on the verge of catching fire, and the windows on the other home were cracking from the heat.”
He said crew members worked quickly to protect the two houses and were able to contain the damage to a minimum.
“We don’t know the exact cause, but it appears to be accidental” said Austin. “We believe it may have had something to do with a home-made blacksmith forge in the shed itself.”
The two fire-related calls were among seven emergency responses Warman Fire Rescue (WFR) members attended over the two days.
“It was a busy weekend, for sure,” said Austin.
He noted that since the fire ban in the RM of Corman Park was implemented several weeks ago, WFR has not been called out for any rural wildfires in their coverage area.
“People seem to be respecting the burning ban in the RM,” he said. “They’re following the rules, so that’s good. But the ban will probably be in place for at least a couple more weeks till everything greens up.”
The City of Warman itself does not have a fire ban within its municipal boundaries. However, backyard firepits must be fully enclosed and screened and otherwise compliant with the city’s fire prevention bylaw. The full bylaw is posted on the Cit