UPDATE 5:15pm: Saanich fire fighters have a brush fire that burned through a field just east of Swan Lake under control.
The blaze started a little after 2pm Saturday afternoon and grew quickly inside the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, with heavy smoke being seen in the area. Police asked people to clear the park and closed access to the Lochside Trail, and at one point there were concerns flames could spread to a wooden bridge on the trail.
As the smoke cleared and firefighters mopped up, the extent of the blaze became visible. A blackened section of grass about one-hectare in size could be clearly seen from the Swan Lake Nature House.
“The time of day, the temperature humidity, all those conditions all those conditions were such that once it did ignite it moved quickly especially with the breeze we had,” said Saanich Fire Capt. Ron Benedict. “Luckily with the passerby who phoned the call in really aided us in a quick response before it grew too large.”
Investigators were still trying to determine a cause Saturday afternoon, but Benedict said with hot, dry conditions expected to continue through the long weekend, it’s important for everyone to be cautious and diligent, report possible brush fires quickly.