Rash of fires in Nanaimo expected to bring early fire ban

Rash of fires in Nanaimo expected to bring early fire ban

WATCH: A spike in fire activity in and around Nanaimo has that city’s fire chief urging caution as extremely dry conditions threaten to get even worse. Since Friday, firefighters have been run off their feet responding to three separate structure fires and multiple brush fires.

Nanaimo firefighters raced to yet another call Monday afternoon, this time in a top floor of a Nicol Street Motel as smoke poured from a window.

It was the latest in a rash of fires that have had crews responding from one call to the next since Friday.

“Just people really be diligent about fires and smoking-related materials, discarding smoking-related materials,” said Nanaimo Fire Chief Karen Fry.

“If you see smoke call 911, let us know right away if you see a fire,” said Fry. “We will be issuing a fire ban and it’s probably going to be starting tomorrow ahead of [the] Coastal Fire Centre.”

Fire Chief Karen Fry says conditions are getting drier and more dangerous by the day.

“It just takes a couple of embers in this dry weather and the fire can spread really quickly,” said Fry.

That’s what happened Sunday when a brush fire that sparked in a subdivision under construction off Jinglepot Road, quickly multiplied into three fires sending smoke skyward and visible for kilometres around as winds picked up.

“We’re seeing really hot temperatures, unpredictable winds and it’s very dry,” said Fry.

On top of those tinder dry conditions, crews also responded to two structure fires at the same time Sunday morning at opposite ends of the city. One in the 3500 block of Uplands Drive has left a family homeless.

“Generally two structure fires in homes at the same time is quite rare in our city,” said Fry.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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