Fire crews busy on Island Highway on Tuesday

"It's not suspicious," confirmed Qualicum Beach Fire Department (QBFD) fire chief Darryl Kohse

Four separate spot fires broke out Tuesday evening at approximately 6 p.m. on the Inland Highway median just north of the Qualicum Beach exit, stalling traffic for hours.

“It’s not suspicious,” confirmed Qualicum Beach Fire Department (QBFD) fire chief Darryl Kohse.

“We assume it was a mechanical failure on a rig, we found bits of rubber on the shoulder which can heat up and catch fire.”

Kohse said nobody was injured in the fires, but B.C. Ambulance, RCMP, Emcon and B.C. Fire Service attended for precautionary measures.

“It’s very lucky the fire didn’t jump the highway and catch onto larger timbers on the side of the road,” he said. “We haven’t really experienced anything of this nature, it’s kind of unique but it does happen.”

He said 30 firefighters attended the scene from the QBFD, Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department and Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department.  “It took us about two hours to put out,” said Kohse. “There were several fires so we had to jump around.”