A large fire is closed traffic on Shelbourne Street near University Heights at McKenzie Avenue around 5 p.m. (Colin Hosokawa photo)

A large fire is closed traffic on Shelbourne Street near University Heights at McKenzie Avenue around 5 p.m. (Colin Hosokawa photo)

Saanich fire destroys ten trees

A fire Wednesday afternoon destroyed 10 mature cedar trees outside a Saanich shopping centre and snarled traffic at a busy intersection.

Dan Wood, deputy chief of the Saanich Fire Department, said the Wednesday evening fire started outside University Heights near the intersection of Shelbourne Street and McKenzie Avenue, which closed as crews were dealing with the fire.

Wood said it is not clear what caused the fire, which started in a pile of leaves that was dry on the bottom. Wood said a single engine with four crew members responded to the scene of the fire, which threatened a nearby powerline.

Crews, however, managed to put out the fire quickly.

Video shot of the fire makes it appear spectacular, an appearance owed to the fuel that the trees provided, said Wood.