Nanaimo firefighters had a busier than normal Sunday morning with six brush fires within six hours, and officials believe the fires are all human-caused.
A brush fire at the corner of Haliburton Street and Milton was called in by neighbours at 4:30 a.m. and it was already the second brush fire of the day.
“It was fairly high. It started off relatively small and went really quickly. It’s just dry and came really fast and they put it out I was getting a little worried because it wraps all around the side there to the buildings,” said Brandon Hawksworth, a neighbour who also took video of the fire.
And as the morning progressed, the bush fires mounted.
One by the Nanaimo Parkway, south of College Drive was number five of the morning.
“When we arrived on scene, we had an area about 50 x 20 feet encroaching on the fence line to the army base, so we positioned on the parkway and pulled the line off and knocked the fire down in a couple of minutes,” the fire department told CHEK News.
This fire has a tent and other indications that someone has been camping close by.
It’s close to a fire that started on Fifth Street, across from Vancouver Island University Friday afternoon. Firefighters also put that fire out quickly.
The final brush fire Sunday morning was the sixth within six hours and the largest of the day.
It was between the Nanaimo Parkway and Sun Valley Drive, north of Northfield and homes were close. A neighbour got the first water on it to protect his home.
“I was just on my way back to the house and my wife said that she heard a bang up on the cliffside there and followed by some crackling so I just pulled in,” said Dan Duncanson, a neighbour.
“We called the fire department and grabbed my neighbour Carlos here and he pulled his ladder out and we hooked a bunch of hoses out and I just tried to keep the fire back from the house line.”
This fire took several hours for firefighters to access and fully put out.
“It was spreading so quickly. Fortunately for the houses along here, the wind was blowing the right direction to keep it from our backyards,” said Duncanson.
Though officials suspect all the fires were human-caused, they don’t suspect any were started on purpose.
They say the fire danger rating is extreme and people need to abide by the campfire and open burning bans in the region.