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

Just Posted

Softwood lumber duties decrease after final determination

High lumber prices mitigating impact on local mills

Medals brought home from Taekwondo Westerns

Fort team travelled to Grand Prairie for Western Canadian Championships

Fort hockey girls help bring home division silver

Combined PeeWee/Bantam team compete at Women’s Hockey Wickfest, Calgary

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Most Read