Ciggies suspect in fire

The keen eye of a passerby caught a hedge fire that broke out on Monday night

Central Saanich fire crews were kept busy Monday night after a hedge caught fire on Veyaness Road.

The keen eye of a passerby caught a hedge fire that broke out around 9 p.m. on Monday at 6805 Veyaness Rd. before it raged out of control.

Central Saanich fire crews were on the scene just after the call came in and were able to get the fire under control within two hours.

“The cedar hedge was fully engulfed and the fire was burning so hot and it’s so dry that ash and sparks from the main fire caused another area covered in cedar mulch to smoulder,” said Ron French, Central Saanich’s fire chief.

“We had to dig up all the bark mulch to make sure everything was out.”

French said he suspected unextinguished cigarette butts were the culprit in the incident.

“A lot of the workers around there go outside to smoke and put their butts out in that area. We saw tons of them around there. People need to be more careful,” he said, adding that especially in the summer when it’s so dry, smokers should always use a proper ashtray or container to dispose of their butts.

Fire crews were also kept busy over the weekend when they worked to save a 42-foot wooden boat that had caught fire after the owner had a problem with the electrical system he was working on Sunday morning at Anglers Anchorage Marina in Brentwood Bay.

“The alternator shorted out and melted the negative connection to the battery which melted all the plastic off the wiring and actually created a fire under the console,” explained French.

“We moved the boat off the far finger dock at Anglers to the government dock and were able to get it under control before it did too much damage.”

The boat was being prepared for sale and did not have insurance.