While Vancouverites are enjoying the early warm weather, tinder dry conditions and human carelessness have caused 18 brush fires so far in the city.
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Jonathan Gormick tells Vancity Buzz the vast majority of them are caused by cigarette butts, and the most recent one happened in Stanley Park on Thursday.
“Crews arrived to find a 10 by 10 area of the park on fire, and the first arriving apparatus was able to extinguish it,” says Gormick.
Crews stuck around for “quite some time,” he says, in order to make sure the flames remained extinguished.
Gormick says he’s expecting a busy summer for Vancouver fire fighters if this trend continues.
“We tend to see a whole lots of those fires in planters or on boulevards, and in areas where people come out of buildings, have a smoke, and flick their cigarette butts,” he says. “It’s pretty hard to think of it being anything else. It’s not like we have lightning strikes – fires don’t just randomly start.”
Thus far, yesterday’s Stanley Park fire was the worst out of the 18, but Gormick notes there’s still time for that to change.
“It probably won’t be the last we see this summer.”
Gormick adds that smoking on beaches and in parks is illegal.