No injuries resulted from a structure fire at an ‘apparent homeless camp’ in Hope April 24. Hope Fire Department/Facebook photo

Hope crews respond to small structure fire in ‘apparent homeless camp’

Only fires for cooking and keeping warm are allowed in the district currently

Nine firefighters responded to a small structure fire in an ‘apparent homeless camp’ in Hope Friday morning.

Fire chief Tom DeSorcy said firefighters are unsure of what the structure was as it had burned down significantly when crews arrived. Firefighters didn’t find anyone at the camp and there were no injuries associated with the fire.

DeSorcy said the department does respond to fires like this in places where people are sleeping rough.

It is also common for the fire department to get calls about fires or smoke, and respond to these to find that they are legal fires for warmth or cooking. While it does cause extra work for the department, DeSorcy said people who see fires or smoke should still be calling them in.

Drivers should be extra watchful for smoke and fire as these camps tend to be established close to highways. “While we don’t want to discourage people from calling 9-1-1, it would be nice to know where the fire is exactly…what is on fire. A lot of resources will chase smoke,” he said.

The only fires allowed in the District of Hope currently are fires for cooking or keeping warm and fires using cooking fuel or clean, dry firewood. These rules go along with provincial rules effective April 16, which bans category 2 and 3 fires as well as the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and the use of burn barrels or cases of any size or description.

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