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CANADA | Wildfire season

Discarded cigarette sets historic B.C. bridge on fire

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 1:49 PM - A discarded cigarette butt appears to have set a 100-year-old wooden bridge on fire near Hope, B.C. Sunday.

On Wednesday, the small blaze on the Ladner Creek Trestle Bridge was still burning.

The CBC cites two witnesses, who say two men and one woman dropped a cigarette butt on the bridge while walking across it. Shortly after, smoke was starting to rise.

"We asked them were you smoking out there and they said, 'shoot, that's not good,'" witness Mallory Mogg told the CBC.

"So they ran out there with water to try to put it out but it was too big by the time they got out there... and the water they had wasn't going to cut it."

"They left as soon as I called B.C. Wildfire."

According to Mogg, the fire spread to nearby trees within 20 minutes. Within hours, fire crews were evacuating the area.

As of Wednesday morning, the fire was still relatively small -- about 0.2 hectares -- but steep terrain was making it difficult to extinguish.

The Ladner Creek Bridge is a popular destination for tourists and hikers in the area.

(Visit our COMPLETE GUIDE TO SUMMER 2018 for an in depth look at the Summer Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more)


Warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected this summer across British Columbia, especially during the second half of the season, when extended periods of hot weather are expected across the interior of the province, writes Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham in our 2018 Summer Forecast.

Experts are already calling for an active wildfire season, with warm and dry conditions is expected during July and August -- especially across the southern interior.

Near-normal rain is expected in the mountains, but lightning from those storms presents the potential to spark fires.


Earlier this month, the City of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta received reports of paper lanterns in the sky over amid a weekend of parched conditions and extreme fire ratings.

The lanterns, which are typically made of rice paper, contain a candle or wick that causes them to rise when ignited. Experts say they are incredibly dangerous and pose a threat to wildlife and the environment. Animals can become strangled by the wiring in the lantern, and the uncontrolled flame has been known to spark wildfires.

"[Fort Saskatchewan] Fire Department has received reports of Flying or Sky Lanterns being used," the City said in a Twitter statement.

"Under Alberta Fire Code they are not acceptable for sale or use in Alberta. At this time of extremely dry conditions, these devices are even more dangerous."


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