Squirrel causes grass fire in 100 Mile House

The fire grew to several meters, stretching across a front and toward a house

If lightning and human-caused fires weren’t enough this season, a hapless squirrel was at the centre of the latest fire attended to by the 100 Mile Fire Rescue team.

On Sept. 5, a squirrel raced up a hydro pole along 103 Mile Lake Road. Fire Chief Roger Hollander says the creature hit the transformer on the power pole and was electrocuted, falling to the ground, where a grass fire quickly started.

A potentially destructive scenario was turned into a happy one, when a quick thinking neighbour saw the fire across the street.

“We heard the bang, the power went out and then about five minutes later I looked out the window and the whole front was on fire, so I just ran over, picked up the hose,” says Jim McMahon.

The fire had grown several meters by then, stretching across the front of the lawn and approaching the next door neighbour’s yard, as well as some nearby trees.

“I was thinking, ‘Uh-oh. That’s not good,’” says McMahon.

He says he headed off the fire with the hose, preventing it from spreading any further.

“I stopped a bunch of it first, slowed it down because it was burning pretty good over here, and then up under the tree.”

The fire was out by the time 100 Mile Fire Rescue arrived. McMahon was still watering the grass down but says it only took a couple of minutes to put out the fire.

While the squirrel knocked out power to the surrounding areas, BC Hydro arrived on scene shortly after the fire department and power was restored to the community shortly after.

In a season where wildfires have spread in a matter of days and evacuated communities, including the 103 for several weeks, McMahon says they’re lucky.

“We’re lucky. We’re lucky … because it was up under the tree here, we’re lucky it didn’t get into the tree and carry off, because everyone’s lawns are so dry,” says McMahon.

“We just got really lucky, that’s all.”

Just Posted

B.C. Family Day to move to third week in February next year

Premier John Horgan said the move is to better align the holiday with businesses and families

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

“This means more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgery and better care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

B.C. to increase minimum wage to $15.20/hour in 2021

Premier John Horgan says next increase will come in June

$2.5M project underway at BC Ferries terminal in Bella Coola

Construction has started in the $2.5M project to modify the berth at Bella Coola

Winter storm warning issued for the B.C. Interior

Upwards of 50 centimetres of snow could fall over the next two days

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Langley enjoys home ice while roller coast ride continues for Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal government to fight solitary confinement ruling from B.C. court

B.C. Supreme Court decided to end the practice of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons

Hedley withdraws from Junos, plans to discuss ‘how we have let some people down’

Hedley was dropped by their label last week after sexual misconduct accusations

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: B.C. takes home gold in two-man bobsleigh

Women’s hockey team beats Russia 5-0, Comox skier takes home best qualifying score

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Most Read