British Columbia·Video

Soaring flames from refinery burn-off sparks surge in calls to Burnaby fire department

A large flare during a scheduled burn-off at a refinery in Burnaby, B.C., prompted a spike in emergency calls and 12 fire trucks to attend the facility on Thursday night.

Assistant fire chief said large flare on Thursday night was 'unexpected, but not dangerous'

Flames lit up Burnaby's skies on Thursday night during a scheduled burn-off at the Parkland Refinery. (Submitted by Robin Bunton)

A large flare during a scheduled burn-off at a refinery in Burnaby, B.C., prompted a spike in emergency calls and 12 fire trucks to attend the facility on Thursday night.

Burnaby Fire Department says every year it gets a few calls about burn-offs — the process in which refineries get rid of excess oil by burning — at the Parkland Refinery, but it got significantly more on Thursday.

The calls came from all parts of the city and led to a two-alarm response as rescue trucks were dispatched.

Assistant Fire Chief Darcy Robinson said the burn-off was unexpected in its size, but not dangerous in any way to the public.

WATCH | The burn-off illuminates the skies above Burnaby:

Burn-off at Burnaby's Parkland Refinery causes huge flare

12 months ago
Duration 0:29
A huge burn-off at the Parkland Refinery on Thursday night led to a two-alarm response as Burnaby residents from all corners of the city called emergency services. (Submitted by Robin Bunton)

"They just had a bigger burn-off than they expected," he said. "Something happened on their end with more fuel than they expected."

The surge of calls and the initially unknown location led to a rapid response, but firefighters did not have to tackle the flames in any way.

"Burnaby RCMP front-line members did attend the scene last night around 11:30 p.m. after seeing what appeared to be large flames at the Parkland Refinery," Burnaby RCMP said in a statement.

RCMP said the fire was planned and controlled.

"At approximately, 10:15 p.m. last [Thursday] night, we experienced an electrical power outage from an external source," said a spokesperson from Parkland. "This resulted in the shutdown of multiple parts of the refinery and an elevated flare."

RCMP said the flare did not result in a fire and no employees were harmed as a result.

With files from David Ball

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