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

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Bike lane closed, traffic impacted by landscaping in Metchosin

Construction begins May 25, to be complete by mid-July

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read