The McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department extinguised a fire yesterday that escaped from a burn pile on Forglen Road (Vicky Ortiz/Facebook)

Burn pile escapes and starts fire near McLeese Lake

Volunteer fire department asks residents to please stop burning

The McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department is asking residents to stop Category 3 open burning after attending a fire that got out of control yesterday afternoon.

“A resident thought it was a good idea to light a burn pile, which quickly got out of control and went into and up the trees,” said Fire Chief Ian Hicks in a Facebook post.

“Our goal is to try and stop something small from becoming something big,” the chief told the Tribune Thursday.

The fire was located on private property on Forglen road in the McLeese Lake area.

“You can see from the photos that this was a very serious situation – especially in a well-populated area surrounded by thick forest.”

“I live right below this fire and was completely unaware of it. You could really only see it from a distance,” he said in the post.

The fire fighters used a pumper truck to fill the smaller four-by-four, putting the fire out completely using fire retardant foam.

“I am so proud of my crew and the efforts they put in. This would have become a forest fire for sure and right in the heart of our community.”

Hicks told the Tribune if the fire had spread another 30 feet, it would have gotten into underbrush

“Then we would have had a forest fire.”

Hicks said people need to stop burning.

“Please guys the time for this is over, I dont care if you think you want to burn something. How are you going to explain that to your neighbours when 50 houses burn down.”

The MLVFD said they will be attending anything bigger than a small campfire in the future.

Hicks also said he thinks that the resident was fined.

As of Monday, April 23, Category 3 open fires were banned through the Cariboo Fire Centre area to prevent human-caused wildfires.

“After last summer’s disaster we all have to be vigilant and use common sense.”

Last summer members of the MLVFD were instrumental in fighting wildfires that threatened areas north of Williams Lake, including the Rankin Ranch.

They’re now working to purchase property in order to build a volunteer fire department. Until now, they’ve worked out of garages and donated property.

“I’m going to be in tears when the thing actually goes up,” said Hicks.

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