Early morning house fire in Hammond

Fire chiefs warn fire risk is still high, bans remain in place.

A man escaped his burning Hammond home early Monday, but suffered smoke inhalation.

He was treated at the scene by emergency responders.

Maple Ridge firefighters were called to the blaze at 5:20 a.m. Assistant fire chief Mark Smitton said the single-storey house suffered extensive fire and smoke damage.

The occupant was awoken by his smoke alarm after a fire broke out at the back of the home.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

Fire danger

Both Smitton and Pitt Meadows Fire Chief Don Jolley are warning that the light weekend rains have done little to diminish the fire danger.

Smitton said the department has received burning complaints from the public, and would like to remind residents that there is still a total fire ban that includes campfires, refuse fires and fireworks.

The fire danger is rated as moderate and high in most areas of southwestern B.C. It did drop in some areas due to milder temperatures and Sunday rain. However, Smitton said a few days of summer heat will have the parched forests back to an extreme fire danger rating.

“We need to remain diligent,” he said. “We’re just coming into the real summer temperatures.”

He said it would take about 50 mm of rain to reduce the fire danger rating to safe levels. The rain measured at the Pitt Meadows airport on Sunday was less than two mm.

“We need four or five days of significant rain to make any difference,” said Jolley.

“Hopefully people are behaving with their cigarettes,” he added. “The No. 1 thing is do not throw them out your windows.”