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Passerby spots smoke early, Colwood firefighters kill fire at RRU

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Colwood Fire Department quickly extinguished a brush fire at Royal Roads University on Thursday morning.

When firefighters arrived, flames had reached 20 feet into an old-growth Douglas fir tree, burned a fallen log and scorched a 10-square-metre area, said Lt. Kyle Smith of Colwood Fire.

He said the department was alerted at 5:30 a.m. by a dog walker on the Esquimalt Lagoon, who reported seeing smoke rising from a forested area near the north end of the lagoon.

“If it hadn’t been for that person reporting the fire, it would have been a different story,” Smith said. The department arrived on the scene in just over four minutes as shifts at the fire hall were changing.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Smith warned against smoking in forested areas and said smokers should make sure butts are extinguished and disposed of in a proper manner.

He said conditions are extremely dry and Royal Roads is surrounded by several homes.

Fire officials are encouraging all homeowners, especially those living around parks and other public spaces, to “fire-smart” their homes.

Property owners should move fuel sources like firewood and lawn furniture away from your house, trim branches near your roof and cut lawns shorter.

For more information, go to firesmartbc.ca.