Straw, coconut husks fuelled fire beside Burnaby highway

A lot of smoke and phone calls brought eight fire trucks and 30 firefighters to the north side of the Barnet Highway in Burnaby Sunday afternoon.

It turned out some organic soil remediation products, including hay and coconut husks, had caught fire and sent up clouds of smoke, according to assistant fire Chief Greg Young.

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The Burnaby Fire Department was called at about 4 p.m., he told the NOW.

At the scene, crews found two portable shelters where organic material was being stored had caught fire.  

“There were no buildings in danger; there were a couple of cedar hedges that went up with it, but it was in the middle of, essentially, a big cement parking lot,” Young said.

The only real issue with the blaze was water, he said.

Crews had to fill the trucks at the hydrant by the Harry Jerome Sports Complex and make their way back across the highway before dumping the water on the blaze.

Although some traffic was held up in the process, Young said he decided not to shut down the highway completely because the fire posed little risk.

“It wasn’t going anywhere,” he said.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor

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