For many parts of rural Saskatchewan, an early snowfall in 2016 has led to a heightened risk of grass fires this spring.
Chief Mike Given with the Delisle Fire Department said crops left out on the field are now tinder-dry and ready to go up in flames.
“We’re seeing a lot of fuel load right now out in the fields. A lot of farmers didn’t get a lot of crop off last year,” Given said.
With warmer weather in store for the province this weekend, Given said the forecast isn’t working in his crews’ favour.
“We’ve been hoping for rain of any kind – even a drizzle – a drizzle that would last the whole day, just to give everything a good soaking,” Given said. “But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”
On Wednesday, Delisle crews put out a total of five back-to-back grass fires.
“One of them we weren’t even back to the hall. We were leaving our first scene to go to our next three scenes,” Given said.
The fire chief said he suspects at least three of the blazes were completely avoidable – caused by people carelessly tossing their cigarettes out of vehicle windows.
“That’s probably the biggest cause of a lot of these fires,” he said.