New Pictures Added
The fire on the Industrial Lands, owned by the City of Terrace, just south of the NW Regional Airport, is under investigation though the official account at this point is that it was likely caused by lightning.
Some have reportedly been told the slash piles were intentionally set ablaze by the City however this is unconfirmed and is denied by the Northwest Fire Centre’s information officer, Lindsay Carnes. They are currently investigating and are focusing on it being due to a lightning strike.
Carnes stated they were informed there had been a lightning strike though their recording system did not detect it. This remains the primary direction the investigators are pursuing. There was a lightning storm that passed through two days earlier.
The pictures show the slash piles and the trail of fire leading from some of them that appear to be reduced to ashes.
There are numerous concerns with this incident if the fire was indeed purposefully set on behalf of the City. First would be the City would become responsible for the costs of the firefighting effort, which could be quite large. A more serious concern is the setting of these slash piles ablaze so close to the Airport. A Skylink Plane crashed in September of 1989 taking the lives of two. The Investigation found at the time of the accident the sky condition was partially obscured, visibility was two miles in smoke and fog variable to six miles in smoke. “The smoke was the result of slash burning in the local area.”
The Regional District Kitimat Stikine took measures and made resolutions after this tragedy forbidding this type of slash burning near the Airport. That was before the land became City property.
During the last weekend in September 2008 the air was filled with thick smoke all through the Airport and Terrace as numerous slash piles were set ablaze. This was covered as it happened in our story HERE
Another concern is for the new proposed Wood to Coal facility to be constructed in the Terrace area. It is exactly this type of material they wish to have shipped to their plant. They turn it into a marketable product. No need to burn any slash from this point forward.