Seven cigarette fires in a week keep Langford firefighters busy
The fire department has taken to posting signs at the sites of cigarette fires and in flower beds warning the public about the dangers of improperly discarded cigarette butts. (Langford Fire Rescue/Twitter)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, June 26, 2019 11:49AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 26, 2019 6:02PM PDT
Dry, windy weather and careless cigarette smokers are keeping firefighters in Langford on their toes.
The department has responded to at least seven fires since June 19 that appear to have been sparked by discarded cigarette butts.
One tossed butt over the weekend sparked a two- to three-metre blaze in a hedge at an Esso gas station, prompting several 911 calls.
"There's a chance that these could take resources away from something more serious if we're out at one of these fires," said Langford's chief fire prevention officer Lance Caven. "And it's completely preventable."
Caven said the blame for this week's uptick is partially shared by recent dry and windy weather that has made the problem of discarded smoking materials so much worse.
"We're asking people to be as diligent as possible when they're smoking to make sure they put their cigarettes out safely," Caven said.
The fire department has taken to posting signs at the sites of cigarette fires and in flower beds warning the public about the dangers of improperly discarded cigarette butts.
"Unfortunately we've been trying to educate the public over the years about being careful with smoking materials and being careful in general, but we still continue to have these nuisance fires," Caven said.
Langford isn’t the only place affected by careless smokers.
The Central Sannich Fire Department had to respond to not one, but two fires Wednesday morning on the northbound lanes of the Pat Bay highway just before 10 a.m.
“Think of the ripple effect. Think of the potential a single cigarette could have,” said Chris Vrable with Central Sannich Fire.
“It’s a distraction to the drivers, it ties up 911 lines, it ties up first responders. All because of one carelessly discarded cigarette”