The remnants of a grass fire that was been deemed suspicious by Colwood Fire Rescue earlier this summer. (Gazette file photo)

Slow summer fire season for Colwood Fire Rescue

Despite fewer grass fires, calls still on the rise

With the summer fire season finally over, Colwood Fire Rescue is breathing a sigh of relief as they gear up for chimney fire season.

But despite the extremely dry conditions during the summer months, Fire Chief John Cassidy said calls for grass and brush fires were down in the city, and even mutual aid calls for those types of fires in View Royal were down.

“We’ve had a very quiet summer fire season,” Cassidy said. “We didn’t get our usual numbers.”

Despite a few small fires, which included a couple of suspicious grass fires early in the season, the department didn’t field the usual volume of fire calls. “That’s significantly different from where we were a few years ago … Knock on wood, the last two or three years have been very quiet.”

Cassidy added noticeably absent were the typical calls to Thetis Lake (mutual aid), Allandale Pit and the Ocean Boulevard area.

Part of that, he noted, could be due to more civic awareness as well as how proactive the department has been in working with different groups within the community while also patrolling those areas that have been known to be a problem in the past.

But that’s not to say the department hasn’t been busy.

“Call-wise, we’re steady,” Cassidy said, adding that the department has seen an increase in call volume during the past few years. He linked that to the growth in the city. “Colwood is looking at some significant developments,” he noted and with that influx of residents and density, calls have increased at the expected rate.

The department not only responds to fire calls, but also motor vehicle incidents, medical aid and other emergency situations.

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