Malahat Fire says brush fires deemed ‘suspicious’ along Trans-Canada Highway

Malahat Fire says brush fires deemed 'suspicious' along Trans-Canada Highway
Twitter/Ron McNeil
Wildfire burning near the Malahat Skywalk Tuesday night.

Malahat Fire says multiple brush fires that brought traffic to a stand-still on the Trans-Canada Highway Tuesday night are deemed suspicious and are under investigation.

Malahat Fire, with help from Mill Bay Fire and the BC Wildfire Service, responded to the fires around 6:50 p.m.,  just south of the Split Rock Lookout, towards the Malahat Skywalk.

“If the 911 calls hadn’t come in when they did and the crews were not able to get in front of it as quick as they did, we would have had a major event here on the South Island,” says Malahat Fire Deputy Chief Glenn Cooper.

Just before 10 p.m., fire officials said the fires were out, but confirmed to be suspicious, and are asking anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity north of the Malahat Summit to the Split Rock Lookout around 6:45 p.m. to call Shawinigan Lake RCMP.

“We had a member of the public come forward and say they were travelling northbound, and they witnessed a car driving towards Victoria in the southbound lane with something shooting out or something coming out of the window as they travelled,” added Cooper.

Photos and videos posted online showed multiple small brush fires burning just off the highway.

The highway between Whittaker Road and Mill Bay Road was closed in both directions as fire crews battled the fires.

Shortly before 9 p.m., the highway was reopened to single-lane alternating traffic.

Drive BC confirmed the highway fully reopened shortly before 10 p.m.

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