A man out for an early walk with his dog is credited for being alert and help limit the spread of a fire sparked in Nanaimo’s Bowen Park last week.

Nanaimo RCMP says around 6 a.m. on June 3, the man saw smoke, then flames, coming from the end of the walking bridge connecting to Mill Street, near a Bowen Park duck pond.

He decided to run home and grab a fire extinguisher and returned minutes later to put out as much of the fire as he could.

Nanaimo firefighters responded to his 911 call and put out a smoldering wooden post until the fire was completely out.

Police say the age and condition of the bridge, and not the fire, has prompted authorities to close bridge access to the public.

Officials says if not for the alert dog-walker, the fire could have easily spread from the bridge in the tinder dry forest.

“This was an extremely selfish deliberate act that could have caused significant damage to not only the bridge but to the surrounding forest,” Nanaimo RCMP Cst. Gary O’Brien said in a statement.

RCMP asks anyone with information on who may have started the fire to call the Nanaimo detachment at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

CHEK News