Tossed cigarette suspected as cause of one of the first grass fires of 2021

Westman RCMP Report

On a day that turned busy for firefighters, their first call of the day on Monday, March 29 was to an area just west of Virden’s municipal airport at shortly after 2 p.m.

Dead grass in the ditch caught fire and the blaze spread to the dried reeds and grass of a slough, co-incidentally, just west of the creek area near the fire department’s practice site.

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“We suspect the grass fire was a result of a discarded cigarette,” said Wallace District Fire Department Chief Brad Yochim. With strong winds and tinder dry fuel, firefighters were not leaving any sparks alive.

There was also a grass fire last Thursday. Despite recent precipitation, Westman is drier than normal in March. The RM of Pipestone declared a burning ban over a week ago. No agricultural burning is allowed there and in yards, fire must be contained in a fire pit and attended.

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