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Cops crush Castlegar conflagration before fire crews arrive

Castlegar Fire Chief Sam Lattanzio is praising quick-thinking police for knocking down a blaze Thursday afternoon before fire crews even arrived on scene.

He said the call came in at 4:44 p.m. about a wildfire aside a well-travelled path on 12 Street just off Columbia Avenue.

“It was actually called in by an RCMP member who was driving by and noticed smoke,” Lattanzio said. “We were there within about six minutes, I think.”

By the time fire crews arrived, there were two squad cars and three members on scene.

“I’ll give them kudos – they actually knocked the fire down with a five-pound dry chemical extinguisher.

“All we had to do was mop it up and wet it down really well.”

He said he believes the fire was caused by carelessly discarded smoking material – which serves as a grim reminder of the dangers of wildfire and the importance of guarding against it, especially as fire season approaches.