VIDEO: Quick-thinking drivers douse grass fire on Vancouver Island highway
Bad Video Embed Code

VIDEO: Quick-thinking drivers douse grass fire on Vancouver Island highway

Marie Beaton was driving along Hwy. 19 near Qualicum when she saw smoke billowing at Horne Lake exit

While the summer is shaping up to be the second worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history, most of the province is keeping a closer eye on their surroundings as hot and dry weather continues.

But video of several motorists putting out a grass fire in the middle of a Vancouver Island highway Friday evening, Aug. 4, shows just how quickly a blaze can break out.

RELATED: More evacuations due to Elephant Hill fire near Clinton

Marie Beaton was driving along Hwy. 19, north of Qualicum, when she saw smoke billowing just beyond the Horne Lake exit just after 6 p.m.

As she approached the scene she could see there was a grass fire on the meridian.

She pulled over, as did many other motorists. People exited their vehicles with water bottles, fire extinguishers and whatever they had handy and snuffed out the flames before the fire could develop into something more dangerous.

By the time a pumper truck from the nearby Bow Horn Bay Volunteer Fire Department arrived just minutes later, the fire appeared to be largely extinguished after covering an area of about three metres by seven metres.

Cars lined the sides of both the northbound and southbound lanes of the Inland Island Highway as the motorists poured individual water bottles, larger refillable jugs and, in at least one case, a cooler with presumably melted ice over the charred grass.

The fire drew a revolving cast of citizen firefighters, with newcomers pulling over and bringing more water to the median as those with empty bottles returned to their vehicles or stayed to stamp out hot spots with their shoes.

RELATED: Cigarette butt chuckers keep Surrey burning

Speculation is that the fire was started by a discarded cigarette, although this has not been confirmed.

Regardless, props go to everyone who stopped to help put out this fire.

Well done, Vancouver Island travellers!

— With files from Parksville Qualicum Beach News

B.C. wildfires 2017

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District of Sparwood gateway banner. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Sparwood starts to envision new multi-purpose facility for district

The district is exploring options for a new facility in the district following community consultation

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

(File Photo)
WATCH: Cranbrook RCMP looking for driver after near miss between SUV, school bus

(Video courtesy Cranbrook RCMP) Cranbrook RCMP are looking for the driver of… Continue reading

Leith Olafson being congratulated by Jerry Bancks. Photo submitted
Selkirk Sports School wraps up season

A very different year due to COVID-19

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read