Salmon Arm firefighters were able to quickly extinguish flames in a grassy area near the 1300 block of 10th Avenue SW on Oct. 25, one of several fires the fire department has responded to since temperatures cooled. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm firefighters were able to quickly extinguish flames in a grassy area near the 1300 block of 10th Avenue SW on Oct. 25, one of several fires the fire department has responded to since temperatures cooled. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Camps where people living rough spark fires in Salmon Arm recently

Fire chief says last one different because more bicycles than usual discovered

The Salmon Arm Fire Department reports that unattended fires in what appear to be camps for people without homes have been on the increase.

Salmon Arm firefighters were called to a grass fire on Monday night, Oct. 25 in a grassy, bushy area behind Fountain Tire near 10th Avenue SW.

Fire Chief Brad Shirley said when firefighters arrived, there were actually two separate fires in close proximity.

“It appeared to be a homeless type camp – quite a bit of debris and some tents.”

However, one thing was different from other camps the fire department has seen.

“There were a number of bicycles. Whether they were stolen or not, who knows. But it was somewhat out of the ordinary to see that many there for the size of the camp.”

RCMP were summoned.

Shirley said the fires were quickly suppressed, although a lot of items in the camp were burned.

A passerby who called 911 reported hearing a loud popping sound before seeing a lot of flame.

Shirley said that could have been from a small propane tank or perhaps a tire from one of the bikes.

He said his crews are well-informed about potential dangers of responding to such fires, as there can be appliances and other things rigged up in unconventional ways, or sometimes needles and other hazards.

Shirley said the fire department has responded to a number of fires in similar camps since temperatures began to cool.

“At least half a dozen since the end of summer.”

However, during the fire ban and hot temperatures, there were very few calls.

“I must say either they weren’t having fires or they dealt with them appropriately.”

Read more: Fires in camps where people in Salmon Arm living rough spark concerns

Read more: People living rough in Salmon Arm to receive fire extinguishers, smoke detectors



martha.wickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

and subscribe to our daily newsletter.

#Salmon ArmfireHomeless