South Burnaby park scorched by fire

The Burnaby Fire Department is reminding residents there’s still no smoking allowed in local parks and the risk of wildland fires is still high after firefighters were called to a 1,500-square-metre brush fire in a South Burnaby park Thursday morning.

The department got reports of a smoky smell near Southwynde Avenue and Byrne Park Drive at about 3:30 a.m.

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Crews responded, but the area the smoke was coming from was in dense bush, so they decided to return at daybreak, according to assistant fire Chief Barry Mawhinney.

They returned at about 6:30 a.m. and located the fire off a path about 170 metres into Bryne Creek Ravine Park, he said.

An official cause hasn’t been determined, but a discarded cigarette is likely to blame, according to Mawhinney.

“The fire was right on the edge of the trail, and it spread away from the trail,” he said.

The blaze scorched about 1,500 square metres, and firefighters had to cut down a few damaged trees.

Mawhinney expected crews to be on site into the afternoon on Thursday, using mattocks to dig up the fire's perimeter and soak the area to prevent any smouldering.

“It’s bone dry, everything’s dry,” he said.

No structures were threatened by the blaze, according Mawhinney.

“It’s just a nice large park,” he said. “It’s a place people like to use, so nobody wants to see it destroyed by a fire.”

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