Grass fire cuts power on Tache Reserve

A fire near Tache Reserve on Tuesday, April 9 left the community in the dark.

A fire near Tache Reserve on Tuesday, April 9 left the community in the dark.

A power pole in the area caught fire after grass was ignited in the area.

The fire was at approximately 19 km up the Tachie Highway, and both RCMP and BC Hydro responded to the fire at about 10 a.m. in the morning.

The power pole was burnt out at the bottom, leaving just the power lines holding the pole up, and power was then cut off to Tache Reserve from noon until 4 p.m., ending the day for many people working in offices like the community nursing station on the reserve.

The fire is still under investigation, but it does appear to have been deliberately set and anyone with information or who may have seen something, is encouraged to call the local RCMP detachment at 996-8269 or phone Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

This time of year is popular for people to burn off dead grass, however there are good and safe ways to do this without jeopardizing valuable infrastructure and causing damage to the community.

Preparing the area, planning the burn and monitoring the burn are all important parts of safe burning practices. Often with grass fires, a hand tool such as a shovel and a proper plan are all a person needs to ensure a safe and effective burn.

In addition, the commonly held belief about burning grass producing better grass yields is actually a myth. While it may make grass grow back faster initially, burning the grass depletes the soil of valuable nutrients and also reduces the overall yield of the new year’s growth of grass.

On average, nearly 50 per cent of wildfires in B.C. are caused by human activity, and this represents a significant cost to taxpayers.

In 2010, $212 million was spent suppressing wildfires in the province, and over 40 per cent of those fires were person-caused.

For information on safe burning practices, current fire bans or restrictions and legal requirements, go to www.bcwildfire.ca. The power outage was one of three outages in the community in two weeks, causing work stoppages.

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