Port Alberni Fire Department extinguished a fire in the bush off the end of Compton Road on Sunday night (Aug. 18).
The call came in around 7 p.m. that a brush fire was burning just off Kitsuksis Creek Trail. According to PAFD chief Mike Owens, the fire had grown to about 13 metres by 30 metres. It was knocked down at around 8:20 p.m.
“We were there putting out hot spots for another hour,” Owens explained. “And we sent a crew back in the morning to make sure everything was still okay.”
Because the fire was located close to Port Alberni’s border with Beaver Creek, several personnel from the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department also attended. The PAFD tweeted just before 9 p.m. that no homes were threatened by the fire.
— Port Alberni Fire (@portalbernifire) August 19, 2019
Owens said it was initially “a bit difficult” to locate the fire, as it had started “quite a ways” down from the train tracks.
“We did have to stretch quite a long distance of hose line to get to it,” he added.
At this point, Owens said he believes the fire was human-caused, but most likely not intentionally set.
“Somebody was probably having a fire for warmth or cooking, and didn’t appropriately put it out,” he said.
PAFD responded to 15 calls between Friday and Sunday. One major incident was a travel trailer that caught fire early Saturday morning (Aug. 17) in an alley across from the fire station on 10th Avenue. The second was a car fire in a driveway in the 5500-block of Meadow Drive on Saturday afternoon.
“The fire started in somebody’s driveway. They weren’t operating [the vehicle] at the time,” Owens said.
The fire department received “multiple calls,” added Owens, as the fire was in “close proximity” to a residence.
“We ended up paging out additional crews to make sure it didn’t become a structure fire,” he said.
Owens said he believes the fire was caused by a mechanical issue.