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Campbell River firefighters quickly douse fire at homeless camp

It’s becoming somewhat of a semi-regular occurrence for the Campbell River Fire Department.

Firefighters rushed Nunn’s Creek Park just after 2:30pm Monday, after responding to several 9-1-1 calls about a large plume of black smoke at the park.

Fire Chief, Thomas Doherty, says it originated from a homeless encampment.

“We were able to access the area off Homeland Road where they found a significant sized homeless camp that was going up in flames,” Doherty said.

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“We were able to quickly contain the fire from spreading, and there was nobody around at the time of the fire.”

Doherty said the department has seen an uptick in calls to these encampments

“There are a number of areas throughout the city and some of the trail networks where we’re starting to see increases in calls, we’re having some incidents along Quinsam Road, along the ERT, Nunn’s Creek Park… there are various regions.”

He added that a lot of these camps are difficult to get to because they’re set so far back in the bush. 

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In this case, Doherty said there was some potential of the fire spreading, which would have caused the evacuation of homes on one side of it and commercial buildings on the other.

“Obviously the smoke coming from those fires are a concern as there were a lot of plastics and petroleum-based products that were burning so that was an indication of the black smoke that the folks were seeing, there,” he added.

Doherty said the fire “does appear to be suspicious.”

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