Campfire triggers bush blaze

NANAIMO: Firefighters battle the results of illegal weekend fires.

An abandoned campfire triggered a bush fire in north Nanaimo on the weekend.

The blaze broke out near Robin Hood Park Saturday morning shortly before 9:30 a.m. about 100 metres into the woods from the end of Sir Lancelot Place.

Fire spread to an area covering approximately 40 square metres by the time firefighters were able to get on the scene.

Rick Kwasnecha, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, said crew’s efforts were hampered by the long lay of hoses – about 100 metres – through the woods to get water to the fire.

“It was quite large,” Kwasnecha said. “It was human-caused, a campfire – possibly from young adults partying there – and left abandoned overnight.”

He said the fire could have been much worse if it had become more established.

Firefighters worked on the fire until about 12:30 p.m. and then returned again in the late afternoon to check for any remaining hotspots that might have been missed in the initial operation.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue dealt with a second campfire in the bush near the 3400 block of Rock City Road at about 11 p.m.

“That was teenagers with a bonfire,” Kwasnecha said. “They were there at the time. It was just and illegal campfire – same scenario, different outcome.”