Resident speaks out against tossing cigarettes on ground

Photo submitted.

ROSE PRAIRIE, B.C. — A Rose Prairie resident is speaking out against people throwing cigarette butts on the ground in the warm, dry weather after the community came together to put out a fire likely caused by one.

The fire had started in a ditch alongside the road, and with the winds, it was burning towards a field that hasn’t been maintained in a long time, resident John Stones recalled.

“Nobody likes to see fire happen … so off we go to get it stopped,” he said. “There was a helicopter when I first got there, the fire had probably only been going for 15 to 20 minutes when I first got there. But it had covered a half of a mile.”

Stones says the fire came within 200 metres of his neighbour’s barnyard, and three more farms were in its path. He estimates about one hundred neighbours worked on the fire, with trackers disking, and sprayers to fight the flames.

“When you see a fire like that, everyone just comes and whoever can pitch in and help out, we’re helping out. … When one neighbours in trouble, everyone rallies around and comes to help.”

Crews attended the scene around 10 p.m., according to Stones as there were hot spots along the creek where the fire burned. A crew came out again this morning.

In B.C., the fine for throwing a cigarette out the window is $173.