QUALICUM BEACH — It was a close call in a rural neighbourhood north of Qualicum Beach when an underground fire burst into visible flames meters from several homes.
Dashwood Volunteer Fire Dept. chief Nick Acciavetti told NanaimoNewsNOW a slash pile on a lot in the Meadowood subdivision caught fire Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. He said crews from multiple area fire departments attacked the blaze at the property, where industrial burning occurs.
“We get some wind and a little bit of hot water and then those fires perk up again and ‘boom’, next thing you know the whole pile was on fire.”
Acciavetti said smoke was noticed by the landowner who quickly called for help.
He said the outcome could have been different without a fast response from numerous regional resources.
“It was on a slope, there are several homes above where the fire was located, if we would have some wind and drier conditions it could have turned into more than what it was.”
Acciavetti said the fire was contained to a 50 by 75 ft. area.
He said the land owner had a permit to legally burn slash on the property up until March when burning restrictions came into effect.
It was the second notable blaze of the day, as crews took care of a cabin fire which spread into the forest on Mudge Island.
The Coastal Fire Centre elevated its fire risk Tuesday to extreme for most of the mid and south ends of Vancouver Island during the midst of a prolonged blast of hot and dry weather.