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Whipped by high winds, Lavington, B.C. slash fire moves towards homes

Fire crews in the North Okanagan town of Lavington, east of Vernon, worked fast to put out a grassfire that grew to about half a hectare in size on Thursday morning.

Tracy Burrell lives next door to the property on Learmouth Road between Park Lane and Reid Road and saw the flames blow to within about eight metres of her fence line.

“It was a little scary,” Burrell said of watching the fire running toward her property.

The Lavington Fire Department said Burrell’s neighbour was burning piles of old trees when the winds picked up and quickly spread the flames.

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“With grass fires, they always move quickly and when there’s structures around. It’s always a concern for us,” Lavington Fire Department assistant chief Josh Wade told Global News.

“It’s a bit of a tough terrain so we did have to haul a bunch of hose up to it but we managed to get enough up there with enough pump pressure to get water on it,” Wade said.

Wade said the property owner was doing everything right while burning the slash piles, but the wind can make conditions unpredictable.

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“Just be aware of high winds and the dry conditions,” Wade said. “Fire will get away from you in a hurry so please have water nearby and don’t be afraid to call the fire department.”

The fire danger rating is said to be moderate in the Kamloops Fire District, where Lavington is located, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Clearwater, Merritt and Salmon Arm areas of the district are already at a high danger rating as of April 15.

The Province of B.C. issued a warning about outdoor burning on Wednesday.

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