A pair of fires on rural Surrey sites are a good reminder of the need for vigilance in careful disposal of cigarettes and other incendiary materials, officials say.
Deputy Chief Larry Thomas said crews spent about six hours fighting a “fairly big” fire in a blueberry field Monday, after smoke was spotted just after 3 p.m.
Due to its location approximately one kilometre from the roadway, off-road vehicles had to be used to gain access to the site, and water was pumped from the nearby Serpentine River, Thomas said.
Career and volunteer firefighters from four halls responded to the scene, with the last leaving the site about six hours later.
Thomas described the fire as a difficult one, given the land type.
“The problem with that land in that area is there’s a lot of peat,” he said, explaining such fires smolder underground. “You have to soak the ground thoroughly.”
And while the cause of the fire is unknown, Thomas noted that many of the blazes that fire crews are attending to of late have been the result of discarded cigarettes.
“The main message is that it’s still so dry out there,” he said. “Just the littlest ignition source… will start a fire.”
That appeared to be the case Friday, when crews spent just over two hours fighting a brush fire in the 13100-block of Colebrook Road. Alerted to the fire just before noon, firefighters arrived to find railway crews working to extinguish the wind-driven flames, which were spreading quickly.
Again, cause of the fire is unknown, however, Thomas said that near train tracks – metal on metal – “there’s lots of things that could create a spark.”
The scene was cleared shortly after 2 p.m.
There were no injuries in either fire.