Surrey fire crews responded to a grass fire in the Hydro right away greenbelt directly the west of Newton Athletic Park that was hosting a large soccer tournament.
A second alarm was called and additional firefighters were called to the scene in the 12500-block of 75A Avenue. No one injured and the cause is under investigation. Approximately five acres burned.
An ongoing heat wave and dry foliage has contributed to nearly 300 brush fires so far this year.
It’s double the amount of blazes in Surrey in all of last year, and if the trend continues, Surrey fire crews will have to attend more than 450 brush fires this year.
For the most part, city officials say the blazes are preventable. Surrey’s mayor is urging residents to take extreme caution to prevent further fires.
“With the unprecedented dry weather we’ve had this summer, it is incumbent that we all play our part to protect our parks and public spaces,” Mayor Linda Hepner said.
Officials are urging Surrey residents to take the following measures in order to reduce the number of fires:
• Dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished.
• Don’t leave barbecues unattended and ensure they are turned off properly after you have finished using them.
• Explain to children the dangers of playing with and lighting fires.
• Properly dispose of bottles and broken glass you find outdoors to avoid them magnifying the sun’s rays and starting a fire.
The city says bylaw officials are out in force to ensure people are adhering to a total fire ban. Those caught will be given fines of $200 and may face prosecution.
Anyone who sees people barbecuing or having a fire in city green spaces is urged to call the fire department at 604-543-6700 and if there’s a fire out of control, call 911 immediately.