VICTORIA -- A teenage boy has been charged with mischief after allegedly starting fire just off the Galloping Goose Trail on Sunday, according to the West Shore RCMP.

The incident occurred on a stretch of trail in the View Royal area during daylight hours. Police say that they received a call from a witness saying that they had seen a male youth starting a fire on a ditch beside the Galloping Goose.

The caller told police that they had told the youth to put out the fire, prompting the teen to flee the area.

The View Royal Fire Department and West Shore RCMP responded to the call.

Firefighters were able to put out the flames, which “had the potential to quickly spread to homes,” say police.

Mounties say that several bystanders also attempted to put out the fire before first responders arrived, but were unable to do so on their own.

When officers arrived at the scene, they were able to get a detailed description of the teen from witnesses in the area.

Officers quickly found the youth, 17, who was still near the area of the fire.

The teen was arrested for arson and was held in police custody until a court appearance on Monday.

He has since been charged with mischief.

“We want to thank the witness for acting quickly and calling for help,” said Const. Nancy Saggar, West Shore RCMP in a release Tuesday.

“The witnesses also tried to put out the fire themselves before help arrived but the fire proved to be too large to extinguish without help,” she said.