Qualicum Beach, Dashwood and Coombs-Hilliers fire crews responded to a fire in the Qualicum Beach Heritage Forest last Wednesday, Aug. 2. — Photo submitted by Peter Cornell

Second fire in Qualicum Beach’s Heritage Forest

QB, Dashwood, Coombs-Hilliers fire departments attended

For the second time in nearly a month, local fire departments have had to respond to a fire in the Qualicum Beach Heritage Forest.

Qualicum Beach Fire Department deputy fire chief Peter Cornell told The NEWS the department got the call last Wednesday (Aug. 2) at 6:30 a.m.

Cornell said their department was helped by Dashwood and Coombs-Hilliers fire departments.

Cornell said a worker at a golf course saw the smoke coming out over the top of Crown Mansion.

“He had seen the column of smoke and then he went and investigated what it was coming from,” Cornell said.

The fire, Cornell said, was about 25-feet by 25-feet.

“We had it extinguished within the hour with another hour to an hour-and-a-half overall just to make sure there was no hotspots. But within a half-hour to 45 minutes we had it pretty much under control,” Cornell said.

Both the cause for last week’s fire and the one July 11, Cornell said, are undetermined.

“The first one was kind of on the edge of the trail and this one was a fair distance into the bush,” he said.

“Both are kind of unrelated location wise.”

Cornell said the Qualicum Beach department is doing walk-throughs in wooded areas and the beaches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

“The biggest help we actually have is the public that walks all these trails on a regular basis because they see this type of stuff and call it in when they start seeing smoke. The public is the best eyes and nose, I guess you could say, that we have.”

Cornell said another concern is that there have been a lot of cigarettes thrown into bark mulch or out of car windows and onto dry grass.