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).

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

Pool deck turns patio as Saanich restaurant cooks up creative outdoor seating options

District supports local businesses such as The Lakes Restaurant in creating seating

Victoria police searching for suspect after baseball bat assault

Man assaulted in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Most Read