Bird causes Commonage grass fire

Officials believe incident occurred after electrical transformer struck by bird

A freak situation is being blamed for a grass fire in the Commonage.

It’s believed a blaze broke out at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after a bird struck an electrical transformer between the Greater Vernon landfill and Commonage Road.

“The bird caught on fire, hit the ground and the fire spread (into the grass),” said Lawrie Skolrood, Vernon deputy fire chief.

There were reports of a loud bang being heard prior to the fire occurring. That noise is likely related to the bird hitting the transformer, which was surging with electricity.

While an unusual situation, Skolrood isn’t completing surprised by a bird starting a fire.

“We’ve had a few of those instances over the years,” he said.

The Commonage fire grew to about two hectares before being brought under control.

Firefighters responded from Vernon, Okanagan Landing and the B.C. Forest Service.