Eleven residential structure fires in June

On track for a record year: fire chief

The upward trend for structure fires in North Battleford was reflected again in Fire Chief Lindsay Holm’s latest fire report to city council at their Monday meeting.

The June report cited 11 residential structure fires through June, up from three the previous year. Holm noted there have been two more structure fires since that report was written.

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Fires have gotten more attention this summer due to the wildfire situation in northern Saskatchewan as well as continued dry and hot conditions. The heat has resulted in fire bans in the city and surrounding area this summer. 

But Holm did refer to the increase in structure fires in North Battleford as an “anomaly.”

As for what is causing the increase in fires in North Battleford, Holm said he couldn’t identify a trend.

“There are a couple of things that are similar in terms of circumstance, but until I can start pulling everything together with respect to that, there’s nothing really that I can define to council at the present time in terms of why we’re having such an uptick on them,” said Holm.

One theory he floated was that it could be because a lot of people have been staying at home during COVID-19 and cooking or having more activities inside. It is something he will be keeping his eye on, Holm told council.

He said his hope was structure fires would slow down in the back half of the year. However, Holm did note that they do see fires in the winter when people are using heating in their home, including fireplaces and candles.

“If they continue on where we’re at, we’re probably going to have the highest number of structure fires we’ve had in the city,” said Holm.

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