City warns of fire risk in New West

A year or two ago, we were hanging around the house when we noticed a smoky smell. Stepping out on our patio, we noticed smoke clouds coming from Grimston Park. My husband Will went over to check it out and found a small brushfire starting near the roadway. We called the fire department and discovered several other neighbours had as well, and a fire truck was already on its way. Someone had flicked a cigarette butt from a passing car and it ignited the dry grass on the side of the road. 

Just like that summer, this is proving to be a hot and dry one, and the City is asking for all of our help to prevent fires like the one we spotted from happening by being mindful of backyard fire pits and BBQs, and taking care not to do boneheaded things like flicking smouldering cigarette butts into dry grass. 

A City press release says:

Crews from New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services have extinguished a high number of recent rubbish and bark mulch fires, and have inspected the conditions in all city parks and interface areas. With several local municipalities issuing fire bans and advisories due to similar weather conditions, New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services continues to watch weather forecasts and prepare for any changes to the fire risk.

“It is starting to feel like summer and more people may consider barbequing or using their fire pits; we ask everyone to be very careful and alert,” added Armstrong. “If anyone sees a fire or notices any smoke please call 9-1-1.” 

New Westminster residents are asked to be cautious in the city’s large natural growth parks and green spaces where there are dry grasses and shrubs. Remember to only dispose of smoking materials in proper receptacles and the use of charcoal briquettes is strictly prohibited.

If you have questions about fire safety in New West, or related issues, you can call our fire department at 604-519-1000.