A brush fire, two car accidents and a rash of medical calls kept Port Alberni Fire Department busy over the BC Day long weekend.
“I guess you could call that a fairly busy weekend,” PAFD fire Chief Tim Pley said.
“Most of them were medical calls.”
One of the car accidents occurred just after midnight on Monday, Aug. 4. Crews were called to a car that had gone over a bank, into a railing and hitting a tree. However, the driver had left the scene by the time a first responder arrived, Pley said.
The 20 calls over the weekend was higher than the annual average but not unusual given it was a warm, busy long weekend.
“When it’s really warm like this the activity hours get extended because people are out later.”
The brush fire was originally called in on McBride, but it was in the forested area behind John Howitt Elementary School—right on the border between the PAFD and Cherry Creek Fire Department’s jurisdictions. Both departments responded and spent two hours knocking down a six-by-10-metre brush fire.
“We think it was human caused,” Pley said, but an exact cause had not been determined by the News’ press time. “We’re not sure at this point if it was accidental or on purpose.”
The fire happened on city parkland “and city parks and trails are still open for use, but no smoking, no fires and no motorized vehicles,” he added.
Crews had the fire under control fairly quickly “but it was a fair bit of work.
“The fire was burning down and getting deep seated. It was entrenched in at least one stump. It was fairly laborious work.”