Fire staff say no clear reason behind stark increase in local brush fires

By Spencer Sterritt
August 10, 2017 - 5:47pm Updated: August 11, 2017 - 6:34am


NANAIMO — The number of local brush fires has risen dramatically and there's no concrete reason why.

Fire prevention officer Umesh Lal told NanaimoNewsNOW many of the 15 reported fires between July 9 to Aug. 9 were caused by human error or intentionally set.

“You would think people would be far more vigilant of what's going on, as compared to last year,” he said. There were no brush fires reported over the same period of time in 2016.

Five fires were reported just this week.

Lal said though they know the source of the 15 fires, and the dry conditions have made fire starts much easier, the cause of such a drastic jump compared to last year is still unknown.

Given how dry it is, he said old fires re-catching can be an issue and may explain the seven fires not person-caused.

According to Nanaimo RCMP, they've given many warnings about throwing lit cigarette butts from cars but they haven't ticketed anyone.

Karen Fry, acting fire chief, said so far one illegal burning ticket has been handed out. At all other incidents they've chosen to educate people rather than fine them.

-with files from Dom Abassi


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On Twitter: @nanaimonewsnow

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