Firefighters on scene to wet down a small brush fire that ignited along the Inland Island Highway just north of Big Qualicum River Bridge on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Facebook photo)

Firefighters on scene to wet down a small brush fire that ignited along the Inland Island Highway just north of Big Qualicum River Bridge on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Facebook photo)

Quick-thinking Good Samaritans douse brush fire near Big Qualicum River bridge

Blaze ignited by broken vehicle axle

A small brush fire ignited by a hot wheel axle was quickly extinguished thanks to Good Samaritans.

On Wednesday, July 21, at 10:20 a.m., the Bow Horn Bay Volunteer Fire Department, assisted by the Deep Bay Volunteer Fire Department, was called out to an incident along the Inland Island Highway, just north of the Big Qualicum River bridge.

Mark Taylor, deputy chief, said the 400 square foot brush fire was started when the wheel axle of a vehicle towing a boat broke on the southbound lane of the highway. He said the hot axle ended up in a grassy area and ignited flames.

“One good thing was, after the fire started, a bunch of people passing by in their vehicles all pulled over and started putting it out using fire extinguishers,” said Taylor.

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“And so when we arrived, the fire was still smouldering. And it was actually the people passing by, who had already left the scene when we arrived, that actually helped to make sure it didn’t spread.”

He said if the Good Samaritans hadn’t been there to do battle as quickly as they had, the fire could’ve easily turned into something serious.

BC Wildfire was also on scene to survey the area from a helicopter as Bow Horn Bay and Deep Bay firefighters applied water.

Three BC Wildfire firefighters arrived to patrol the area after both departments left to ensure the blaze didn’t reignite.

Taylor said both departments were only there for approximately one hour, and no injuries were reported in either the fire or vehicle incident.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

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