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By Christine Rumleskie

While it seems like the Fort St. John fire department is everywhere these days, the local fire chief says fire activity isn’t much higher this year than previous years.

Fred Burrows says the department has been out in full force extinguishing a variety of human-caused blazes, ranging from out-of-control grass fires to people setting discarded furniture on fire in local fields.

He says an initial spike of calls occurred on April 16th, when many people thought it was safe to begin outdoor burning. However, Burrows says unexpected wind gusts blew many grass fires out of control, and the department was called to assist in several blazes.

Later that day, the department was called to an apartment explosion, which is now thought to be started by drug activity, and then the major apartment fire on 93rd Avenue, which might have been caused by an electrical failure.

Ever since then, the department has been called to numerous other fires and motor-vehicle accidents.

But Burrows says he isn’t surprised with the amount of calls this April, and while he hasn’t looked over the statistics, he estimates the calls to date are close to last year’s numbers.

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