Passersby were quick to call for help and extinguish many small fires along Highway 19 near Qualicum Beach Wednesday.

Passersby were quick to call for help and extinguish many small fires along Highway 19 near Qualicum Beach Wednesday.

Passersby being praised for role in stomping out roadside fire in Qualicum Beach

'It was amazing to see the number of people pull over and tackle the blaze with anything from hands, water bottles, blankets, etc.

The quick action of many people helped extinguish a fire on the side of Highway 19 before it got out of hand.

“As I was about to leave Highway 19 (southbound) at junction 60 for Qualicum Beach (Wednesday) at 4:30 p.m. a good kilometre of the ‘edge’ of the road had caught fire as a result of a tire blowout,” said Bill Vinton by e-mail.

“It was amazing to see the number of people pull over and tackle the blaze with anything from hands, water bottles, blankets, etc.”

Peter Cornell, Qualicum Beach Deputy Fire Chief, said the public was also very helpful with multiple calls very fast to 911, giving them detailed information about what was going on. “Sometimes people think someone else has called and nobody calls, so that was good,” he said.

He praised the passersby who were able to extinguish the small flames by the time they got there to finish off the smouldering bits.

He said the recent wet conditions helped the multiple spot fires from spreading too fast and while he couldn’t say with certainty what caused them, he ruled out a cigarette butt or other single source of ignition.