West Shore crews busy battling several brush blazes

Monday morning saw several crews battling five fires across the West Shore

Monday morning saw crews across the West Shore busy battling several brush fires.

View Royal Fire and Langford Fire Rescue crews attended a collection of fires burning simultaneously beside the Trans Canada Highway between Thetis Lake and the Langford border at roughly 7:45 a.m.

“What was curious about it was we had four fires,” said View Royal Lt. Rob Marshall. He said there was one larger fire and three smaller ones but after some investigation the fires were not deemed suspicious.

It appeared a cigarette butt was the source of the main fire, Marshall said, while the others were caused by embers blowing in the breeze caused by cars driving past on the TCH.

Roughly 10 firefighters were on scene and were quickly able to put out the fires, which were still in the low-burning phase. Marshall said he even heard that someone driving by had tried to stop and put out the fire but did not see the Good Samaritan.

The morning also started with a call for the Metchosin Fire Department, who were called just before 5 a.m. about a brush fire in the 4700-block of East Sooke Road. Sixteen firefighters and members of the West Shore RCMP responded to the fire, which closed East Sooke Road for roughly an hour before crews were able to open it to single lane traffic.

It took firefighters about half an hour to contain the approximately 200-by-250-foot blaze on steep terrain. They remained on scene for roughly five hours, extinguishing hot spots and making sure the perimeter was contained by foam.

Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop said the fire “was human-caused, but we’re not saying it was caused by a cigarette butt.”

Once back at the stations she said firefighters would spend roughly the same amount of time they spent at the call cleaning equipment and getting the trucks back into service.

“Now the real work begins,” she said.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com