Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to multiple small bark mulch and bush fires over the weekend, all except one triggered by cigarette butts tossed out of vehicles.
“It’s just carelessness,” said Rick Kwanescha, fire prevention officer. “They just toss their butts out the window when they’re driving around and don’t even think about it.”
Because it is difficult to assess the severity of a fire until crews arrive, multiple firefighting units are sent to each alarm on a prepare-for-the-worst basis and then units not needed to handle minor fires are stood down. The procedure is costly, but necessary.
“They were all minor, but when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go,” Kwasnecha said. “The response is huge, especially when they don’t know where it is and the size of it.”
One small brush fire was started by sparks when a vehicle lost its wheel on the Nanaimo Parkway.