Fire crews respond to a brush fire near 9th and Homewood on Sunday afternoon. Photo, Submitted by Elyse Bettenson

Fire crew extinguishes brush fire close to Campbell River home

Department say it was human-caused, though exact cause not known

A brush fire in a Campbell River neighbourhood could’ve gotten out of hand quickly Sunday afternoon but was put out before reaching a nearby home.

The Campbell River Fire Department responded to the scene near 9th Avenue and Homewood Road and was able to extinguish the fire quickly. They received the call at 12:31 p.m. and arrived within minutes.

“We just sent our duty crew, our downtown crew,” said Fire Chief Thomas Doherty. “It was a quick response. Three minutes to get on scene from the time we got the call.”

By that time, the fire had spread to an area estimated at 10 by 50 feet.

“It got within about 15 feet of one of the homes,” he said. “It could’ve been worse if we were a little longer getting there…. It’s extremely important for a quick response.”

The crew was on the scene for about half an hour to an hour to make sure the fire was fully extinguished, and Doherty estimates they used about 1,000 gallons of water.

The fire department has not yet determined the cause, although they did receive reports of some kids in the area prior to the fire. However, Doherty said the fire could have been started by something like a stray cigarette butt. At this point, all they know is that it was human-caused.

“As to the exact cause, we’re not sure,” he added.

The Argonaut fire last week was caused by a tree coming into contact with power lines.

RELATED STORY: Campbell River Fire Department contains brush fire, no current risk to homes

The fire department is reminding the public the community is already dry and could be facing fire bans sooner rather than later.

“Be cautious out there, it’s dry,” Doherty said. “If you do use smoking materials, make sure you discard them appropriately…. We’re going to be looking at putting bans in place fairly shortly.”

Much will depend on the weather. Vancouver Island did receive some rain but this was limited to areas farther south. At present, the area is sitting around the moderate to high mark for wildfire risk.

“If it continues like this, it’ll probably jump into high,” Doherty said.

As far as beach fires right now, the fire chief added that these have not caused problems yet, but they have been getting a few unattended beach fires left to smoulder. He also got a report of one fire left near Menzies Mainline Road, which could have caused trouble because of the longer times needed for crews to get to remote areas.

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