Fast action on Metchosin fire potentially saves homes

Best-case scenario emerges from Thursday grass fire

Quick reaction by homeowners and swift work by the Metchosin, Langford and Colwood fire departments contained a grass fire on Wednesday that threatened nearby homes.

Metchosin volunteer firefighters responded to the call on Ferncliffe Place near Happy Valley Road at about 2:50 p.m.

About 22 firefighters and seven units responded, although only four engines were used, said Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop.

“It was very fortunate there was no damage to any homes,” she said. “Four homes were quite close to the fire; one of them probably within five feet. We owe a big thank you to the Langford and Sooke departments for their assistance, and kudos to the homeowners for evacuating and calling 911 so quickly.”

Firefighters remained on scene until 7 p.m. dealing with hot spots, and returned the next day to cut down some problem trees.

Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, it initially appeared to be human-caused, Dunlop noted.

The fire provided valuable experience for some firefighters visiting from Peru. They are visiting West Shore departments for training as part of a FIrefighters Without Borders initiative. Members of the Metchosin Fire Department travelled to Peru in April to help train firefighters in that country.

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