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Questions over who – and what – started fire near Buntzen Lake

WATCH: The chief of the Sasamat volunteer fire department is expressing absolute frustration after this weekend’s brush fire near a de-commissioned power station at Buntzen Lake. The fire was likely sparked by people, and cost tens of thousands of dollars to put out.

After another long day of fighting a fire 10 kilometres east of Deep Cove, the head of the Sasamat Volunteer Fire Department is expressing frustration over the lack of firm answers over who and what caused the flames.

“Very concerning and very frustrating. If it is human caused, it’s through carelessness,” he said.

The fire appears to have broken out near the Buntzen power station. A group of teenagers could be seen in the morning desperately trying to reduce the size of the fire, to no avail.

It’s unknown whether they caused the fire, but they quickly left the area, getting on a boat in the area before rescue crews showed up.

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“To see someone not take responsibility was a bit disappointing. They clearly took off in a real hurry,” said Ned Bell, who was in the area on a film shoot.

“I’m not sure if they were the ones who said it, but they were there.”

Spokeswoman Mora Scott says the fire did not affect the decommissioned station and the blaze burned away from picnic areas and trails.

The Sasamat Volunteer Fire Dept. battled the blaze with assistance from the VPD Marine Unit and the Wildfire Management Branch, which has deployed two three-person attack crews.

The Buntzen Lake Recreation area was closed to allow fire crews better access to the area, but no one was forced to be evacuated from the area.

As of 3 p.m., the fire was fully under control.

By Sunday night, the fire had been all but put out – but the total cost had exceeded $10,000.

WATCH: There was an all-out effort to put out the smoke and flames in the extremely dry brush on Saturday. Jeremy Hunka reports.

A fire is burning near Buntzen Lake.
A fire is burning near Buntzen Lake. @neilbelenkie

– With files from The Canadian Press

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