Firefighters in Pitt Meadows battled a major fire in the countryside near a nursery Saturday afternoon, which sent large plumes of black smoke into the sky that could be seen from across the Lower Mainland.
Crews were called to the blaze just before 3:30 p.m. in an area east of the Pitt River Bridge on Wooldridge Road near Kennedy Road. The area houses PRT Hybrid Nursery and other farms.
There’s no word yet on where the fire started, but the fire chief said a large pile of debris behind the greenhouse on the property caught fire and that the buildings themselves were not affected.
“There were large pallets stacked behind the building, along with big piles of styrofoam, and that got a hold really, really fast,” Pitt Meadows Fire Chief Mike Larsson said, adding the styrofoam was to blame for the black smoke.
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Crews were called in from both Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to fight the blaze. Both Wooldridge and Kennedy were closed as they tackled the flames, which took until at least 5 p.m. before it was finally contained.
At one point, the fire jumped a nearby dike into nearby properties, but Larsson said those smaller fires have also been dealt with.
Larsson said there are no concerns about chemicals in the air from the styrofoam, but that the city’s environmentalist would be investigating. He also said the department’s fire prevention officer would be in contact with the business owners about the debris piled up on the property.
People on social media took pictures showing the smoke had drifted as far as Vancouver.
Others closer to the blaze were also able to take pictures of the smoke as it billowed into the sky.