A train chugging along the E&N tracks sparked the brush fire along the old Island Highway yesterday afternoon.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue had three fire engines and crews fighting a brush fire along the E&N railbed next to the highway between Northfield and Dorman roads on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Crews were called to the fire at about 1 p.m.
“It was the train going down the tracks, they looked back and noticed,” said Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief Brad Wood. “There’s the odd time it happens. It’s just dry conditions and train wheels, metal-to-metal, sparks here and there.”
He suggested the railbed is as well-maintained as can be expected, and said it was just the combination of wind and hot, dry conditions that caused a spark to start a fire.
“If there was something that stood out that they weren’t doing, we would definitely have discussions with them, but to my knowledge, there was nothing out of the ordinary,” Wood said.
He said crews got the fire under control “fairly quickly” and said although the fire’s proximity to Superior Propane was a “concern,” that business takes safety precautions when there is fire nearby.
He said people who see brush fires should call 911 or *5555.