Hectic afternoon for Colwood firefighters

Simultaneous brush fire and car crash tests response abilities

It was a busy afternoon for Colwood firefighters last Thursday as they battled a brush fire and attended to a multiple car crash at the same time.

Just after 4 p.m. Colwood Fire Department put out a half-acre brush fire at Royal Roads University, off of College Drive, in between the main campus and Belmont Park.

Fire chief Russ Cameron said early detection of the fire was critical, as it could easily have spread to nearby forests. Firefighters managed to put the blaze out in just over an hour.

Investigators suspect the fire was started by people. A group was seen in the area and firefighters found remnants of a lunch and a lighter near where the fire started. Cameron said carelessness is probably to blame.

“Somebody was doing something in that particular area,” Cameron said. “It was probably not malicious.”

Soon after the call for the fire, a head-on collision involving four cars occurred on Metchosin Road.

Cameron said two people were immediately transported to Victoria General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while another had to be cut out of a vehicle by firefighters before being transported to hospital with minor injuries.

Metchosin Road was shut down between Lagoon and Terrahue roads for about 40 minutes.

In both incidents Colwood Fire Department had support from View Royal Fire Rescue, something that Cameron said highlights the importance of the relationship between the two departments.

“Yesterday certainly both departments were operating as if they were one department,” Cameron said. “We had great support from Saanich fire dispatch, … they were awesome as well. So a few of the changes we made in the last couple of years really paid off, particularly in this instance where we had two major situations at the same time.”

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com