Self-igniting vegetation possible cause of East Sooke’s wildfire

Fire estimated at three-hectares in size

  • Aug. 9, 2019 10:30 a.m.

A wildfire that forced a handful of East Sooke residents out of their homes Thursday was possibly caused by self-ignited mosses and grasses, say fire officials.

The fire started at about 3 p.m. and blazed through three hectares of land at Rice Passage off Cain’s Way before doused by firefighters from East Sooke, Sooke and Metchosin.

Firefighters arrived with the fire lipping backyards and wooden decks. No injuries were reported.

Officials recommended residents living closest to the fire leave their homes, but no official evacuation order was given.

The fire likely started near a path, said East Sooke Fire Chief Roger Beck, but no obvious cause was identified.

“It could just be spontaneous combustion from mosses and grasses,” he said. “We did have rain the other day and wet grass, it can spontaneously ignite.”

Beck said when mosses and grasses get a little wet it gives anaerobic bacteria “what they need to get going and it lights fires.”

Resident Doug Pepino said he was home when fire trucks arrived.

“At first when you looked through the trees you couldn’t see the city,” Pepino said.

“It was just dense, white smoke.”

He said first responders told him and his wife to stand by, and be prepared to evacuate.

“It was a little tense, but as the time went on and folks were really working it, you could see them starting to relax a little bit,” he said.

To report a wildfire, please telephone 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cellphone.

READ MORE: East Sooke brush fire ‘was just dense, white smoke,’ says resident



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rural Saanich residents urged to take preventative steps ahead of wildfire season

Saanich Fire Department expects another hot, dry wildfire season

West Shore RCMP, ICBC target speeders and aggressive drivers

Hotspots include Sooke Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Colwood Corners

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Income tax deadline looming

2019 individual tax returns are due June 1, June 15 for self-employed individuals

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Most Read