Fire razes Nanaimo Christmas tree farm; so dry, 'mufflers from trucks were starting fires'

A Nanaimo Christmas tree farm owner says he lost about 1,000 trees after a wildfire swept through a 2.5-acre property south of the city Monday afternoon.

Volunteer fire departments battled the blaze at Gogo’s Christmas Tree Farm on Nanaimo River Road, and the B.C. Wildfire Service was called in with attack crews and two helicopters.

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Farm owner Mike Gogo said the situation could have been much worse if it wasn’t for the “tremendous support” of the wildfire service and three local volunteer fire departments. “It was so hot and so dry down there that the mufflers from trucks were starting fires.”

Gogo said fire crews were still on the site Tuesday morning, mopping up and checking for hot spots.

Gogo believes the fire could have been sparked by sun reflecting off a broken bottle or piece of glass. But fire officials haven’t yet determined a cause.

The Gogo family has been selling trees for 92 years through five generations.

The farm sells about 3,000 trees a year wholesale and from its lot, plus hundreds of others through its “you-cut” program.

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