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

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Girls provincial volleyball hosted at NVSS

Viqueens and locals treat visitors like royalty

Snowbirds, F-18s, Skyhawks at 2018 Vanderhoof Airshow!

Demonstration teams confirmed at Council of Airshows convention

Some visitors to Northern Health facilities asked to wear a surgical mask

The new flu policy is in effect at all Northern Health facilities

Climate change could help producers in northern B.C.

Agriculture coordinator brings excitement and vision to the region

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

B.C. polygamous leader argues charge should be dropped in charter challenge

Winston Blackmore argues some of the evidence shouldn’t be used against him

LETTER: Proportional representation makes votes count

Fair Vote Canada representative responds to Tom Fletcher column

Most Read