Fire Dept. calls increase by 39%

Emergency calls this year have gone by significantly this year.

Sooke Fire and Rescue has seen a record amount of emergency calls this year.

As of Sept. 30, the fire department received 724 calls, which is a 39 per cent increase compared to the same time last year, when 519 calls were answered.

While no exact reason is known, Sooke Fire Chief Steven Sorensen said most calls have been structure fires, appliance fires, hazardous conditions and motor vehicle accidents.

Adding to the influx of calls, firefighters also responded to a significant number of fuel spills this year, along with smoke alarms, medical calls and burning complaints. Sorensen noted that the number of people calling in noticing smoke has also gone up by 95 per cent.

Keep in mind that not all calls are actual emergency situations, such as a smoke sighting or cleaning up a toxic spill.

It’s not all grim, however, as bush fires went down significantly, thanks to the rain in September. As a result, the amount of bush fire cases dropped from 40 last year, down to 12 this year.

“We’re just getting busier all around,” Sorensen said. “It’s not any one thing, a bit of everything.”