A Comox Valley homeowner has learned from personal experience why burning bans are in place within city limits.

Courtenay fire crews were called to the report of a structure fire on View Avenue around 11:20 a.m. Friday morning. When firefighters arrived, they discovered the flames hadn't reached a house yet, but were dangerously close.

According to deputy fire chief Dennis Henderson, the incident began when a man was doing some ill-advised yard work.

"A neighbour was burning grass in his driveway and the grass caught fire which went onto the hedge, which then transferred over to the Fir Tree next door, which was just a couple of metres away from the house," he said.

Henderson says the situation was precarious, but that it could have been much worse. He says it was fortunate that crews were able to extinguish the flames quickly before they reached the house.

While the fire did not reach the house, the flames did spread ash over vehicles throughout the neighbourhood.

"It's against the bylaws within the City of Courtenay to burn," said Henderson.

"Burning means burning so the only things that you are allowed to use are briquettes or a propane fire ring."

Henderson adds that the homeowner who was doing the yard work was given a "stern talking to."