News

Smokers spark brush fire in Maple Ridge

AA Maple Ridge firefighter hoses down a section of hedge and fence in the parking lot of Javan Beauty Salon and Snap Fitness along Dewdney Trunk Road where a fire started Wednesday morning. It was most likely caused by an improperly disposed cigarette.   - Colleen Flanagan/The News
AA Maple Ridge firefighter hoses down a section of hedge and fence in the parking lot of Javan Beauty Salon and Snap Fitness along Dewdney Trunk Road where a fire started Wednesday morning. It was most likely caused by an improperly disposed cigarette.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

Discarded cigarettes are being blamed for sparking a small brush fire Wednesday which burned a fence behind a strip mall in Maple Ridge.

The Maple Ridge Fire Department were called to the property on Dewdney Trunk Road near Glenhurst Street to extinguished flames twice in two hours.

The first call came in around 7:30 a.m., two hours later around 9:30 a.m., the wooden fence was on fire again.

A woman who lives in the home said her fence and hedge has been set on fire seven times in the past two years as it’s a popular smoking spot for customers of an adjacent gym and hair salon.

Most of the fires were small enough to be extinguished without the help of the fire department. The fire department is asking residents to be extra cautious as the hot dry weather means shrubs, grass and hedges can easily be set ablaze.

Fire chief Dane Spence said when the temperature increases to 30 C and humidity starts to drop, the fire risk rises rapidly.

“Once we hit what we call 30-30, we start to get extreme fire behaviour in the bush and on the ground,” he added.

“So people have to start being aware of how they discard their cigarettes.

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