Crews from multiple fire departments were called in to knock down a bush fire north of Woodgrove Centre Friday. Winds drove the blaze to consume about .5 hectares before firefighters got the upper hand.

Crews from multiple fire departments were called in to knock down a bush fire north of Woodgrove Centre Friday. Winds drove the blaze to consume about .5 hectares before firefighters got the upper hand.

North Nanaimo fire sparks rapid response

NANAIMO – Fire near Mary Ellen Drive consumes .5 hectare before being reigned in.

Firefighters from Nanaimo and Lantzville had their hands full reining in a brush fire that got out of hand Friday.

The fire started shortly before 3 p.m. in a wooded area behind the Michaels craft store on Mary Ellen after two youths were spotted running from the area where the fire started, according to one witness.

Dry conditions and wind wind the fire up quickly.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue sent three engines to the scene but due to the speed in which the fire was spreading, Lantzville and East Wellington volunteer fire departments were also called in for extra manpower and water tender trucks.

Martin Drakeley, Nanaimo Fire Rescues assistant chief, said the fire grew to about .5 hectare before fire crews got the upper hand.

Coastal Fire services were also requested then cancelled as crews brought the fire under control.

A Co-Op Gas bar near the fire site was closed and traffic was diverted from the Woodgrove north shopping plaza.

The Island Highway was also closed for a period of time and traffic rerouted to the Old Island Highway due to heavy smoke in the area and fire crews working on the road.

The fire was 90 per cent contained within about an hour and crews were able to start mopping up hot spots.