The Britannia Fire Department is advising residents to be cautious and exercise fire safety. The Saskatchewan Government has forecasted Britannia and other rural municipalities in a high-risk category for fires. Deputy Chief Aaron Buckingham says the department has already responded to multiple fire calls and says conditions dry.
“We’ve had a few so far and of course it’s just that time of year when you get all the deadfall from the wintertime and all the overgrowth that dies over the wintertime. It becomes a little dangerous until we get a little moisture in the spring and everything greens up,” says Buckingham.
Buckingham says that most of the snowmelt becomes runoff due to still frozen ground. Much of the ground may have very little moisture, making a high risk of fires until greater rainfall. Coupled with bright sun and high winds it creates some perfect conditions for wildfires.
Buckingham admits the Britannia Fire Dept. wasn’t upset by some winter weather in the forecast, which he says might be gone now. Until then, Buckingham says they’ll be looking forward to some moist weather, and advises fire safety practices. He says even cigarette butts tossed out of vehicle windows can be enough to start a wildfire.
“If you’re smoking with a vehicle, don’t discard that lit cigarette as you’re driving down the road. That’s all it takes sometimes. As farmers start to get going in our area, when they’re doing things out there, exercise that extra caution when you have to use a welder or anything like that.”
Buckingham says that residents can watch the Britannia Fire Department’s Facebook page for updates on any fire bans they have to impose.