UPDATE Fire crews battle large off-road fire

Langford blaze cost more than $40,000 to extinguish, police seek culprits

With tax dollars wasted, many a firefighter’s long weekend ruined and the risk to local residents very real, Langford Fire Rescue and West Shore RCMP are hoping to find those responsible for a forest fire that broke out last Sunday.

The fire started at about 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 in a wooded area on private property off of Latoria and Happy Valley roads, near Walfred Road. At its peak the fire was about one acre in size. It took most of the night and air support to put out the fire.

“(The fire) had the real potential for getting out of control,” said chief Bob Beckett, of Langford Fire Rescue. “It’s very rough, hilly terrain and with the right conditions and the right winds that could have gone up Walfred.”

Evidence of a camp was found at the site, including remnants of a fire and a shelter. Beckett said it looked like the earmarks of a party, rather than a camp made by homeless people.

The cost for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to bring in a helicopter and a flying tanker to fight the blaze amounted to over $40,000, Beckett said.

On top of that, 25 volunteer and professional firefighters from all three stations of Langford Fire Rescue attended, along with the Metchosin Volunteer Fire Department. Together they fought the fire through the  night until 1:30 a.m. Monday morning, and then Langford and Metchosin firefighters returned to continue the efforts most of the day Monday.

Beckett said throughout the week firefighters continued to return to the site to keep an eye on it and water down any hot spots still creating any risk. For most of the firefighters it was not the ideal way to be spending the long weekend, Beckett said.

“I think it is very, very irresponsible,” Beckett said. “It’s not like the media hasn’t made everyone aware of the high risk, in fact extreme risk, we’re into right now.”

 

RCMP hope to find those responsible, primarily to recover costs associated with fighting the fire. Anyone with information should call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

 

 

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read