Whistler firefighters deal with two blazes over the weekend 

Saturday's Alpine fire causes extensive damage to home, while Sunday's brush fire near Wedge believed to be caused by campfire

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK TEASDALE - Whistler firefighters on the scene of a blaze that caused extensive damage to a home in Alpine on Saturday, June 24.
  • Photo courtesy of Mark Teasdale
  • Whistler firefighters on the scene of a blaze that caused extensive damage to a home in Alpine on Saturday, June 24.

Local firefighters were kept busy with two blazes to contend with over the first weekend of the summer.

Just after 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, the Whistler Fire Rescue Service responded to a report of a fire at a home in Alpine on Matterhorn Drive. Fire Chief Geoff Playfair said the blaze developed quickly, causing "extensive damage" to the home.

"The whole roof is destroyed and essentially so is the main floor," he noted.

The house's occupants were not home at the time, and no one was injured, Playfair said.

Officials suspect the fire was started by a pile of wet staining rags that were left on a patio at the rear of the building.

"Definitely a spontaneous combustion is normal for using rags with that kind of product," Playfair said of the staining material. "That's where I'm focusing my investigation."

Playfair commended a pair of quick-thiking neighbours who called the fire in after attempting to put out the flames themselves. Firefighters had the blaze mostly contained to the house's roof system by 7:30 p.m.

"It was awesome they were observant and took action both by trying to put out fire and calling the department," he said.

Playfair also said that if the homeowner hadn't removed several trees from around the house recently, then the blaze may have spread further.

"Had we had open flames, we would have had a real problem with interface fire and other homes would have been affected," he explained. "If you haven’t thought about FireSmarting your home, get on it."

On Sunday, June 25, fire crews were back at it after a brushfire spread near Wedge just metres away from the municipal boundary. Believed to have been started by a campfire that wasn't put out properly, Playfair said the blaze spread to roughly 23 by 15 metres in Sunday's hot, muggy weather.

"If you're lighting a campfire, make sure you extinguish it," he added. "That's your responsibility." Whistler's fire danger rating remains at high, meaning no fires are currently permitted.

Whistler fire crews responded to the blaze as it was unclear whether the fire took place within municipal boundaries or not, Playfair said. BC Wildfire crews also assisted, extinguishing the fire at around midnight. There was no damage to property or infrastructure.

Because we couldn’t determine exactly where (the fire) was, we initiated action on it, simply because if we didn’t and it developed, it would have pushed into the municipality," explained Playfair.

Speaking of Wildfire, Fire Rescue Service

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