Fire chief eyes 'container campaign' for cigarette/wildfire issue

smoking man

One local fire chief wants to launch a campaign to curb the ongoing problem fires caused by tossed cigarettes.

Sooke Fire Chief Kenn Mount suspects the cause of a blaze that gutted a home on Church Road in the early morning hours on Monday, was an improperly discarded cigarette on the front deck.

Mount says he's fed up -- and his team is exhausted, "It's a common problem in Sooke. A culture shift has to happen. It seems to be okay to just throw a cigarette in a flower bed. The 'ashtray is planet earth' mentality is something that needs to change."

Mount says he's going create some more aggressive strategies, a campaign to help smokers butt out safely.

"A non-combustible container", Mount explains. "We're willing as a fire department to look at handing these out, so we can have one-on-one discussions with the community."

The fire chief says Canada Day for his department started with a 4am call, and his team were up late, monitoring local Canada Day fireworks.

He warns with conditions remaining tinder dry across the region, he would have been forced to cancel the Canada Day fireworks display, if fire crews became overwhelmed with emergency calls.

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