Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour following a spate of small fires around the city over the past 10 days.
Firefighters have responded to numerous suspicious fires around the city since Sept. 15, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
All were small fires in bushes, dumpsters or piles of debris and found in locations throughout the city, so police do not believe it is the same person or group of people responsible for all of them, he said.
The latest fires included a garbage can fire next to a bus stop behind Country Club Centre Monday evening and recycling bins at Woodgrove Centre set ablaze Monday and Tuesday evenings.
“We call them fires of opportunity,” said O’Brien. “There’s no intent to burn structures, but the chances of it going sideways is huge. Or somebody could be seriously injured.”
Police are asking residents to help reduce these opportunities by locking dumpsters after hours, emptying dumpsters frequently and cleaning up debris on construction sites or other areas.
Rick Kwasnecha, fire prevention officer with Nanaimo Fire Rescue, said the potential for these fires to get much worse is there, given the dry conditions. Nanaimo’s fire danger rating is still extreme – the highest.
“We’ve responded quickly enough to keep them from spreading and there’s been no wind, so we’ve been fortunate that way,” he said.
Anyone who sees anything suspicious is asked to please contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.