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Potentially ‘disastrous’ Victoria-area brush fire extinguished, RCMP seek witnesses

Police said what appears to be snow in this photo is ash and residue left over after crews extinguished a suspicious brush fire near along the Galloping Goose trail. West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for witnesses to a suspicious brush fire on a popular walking and cycling trail in the Victoria area.

West Shore RCMP says first responders were called to an area of the Galloping Goose trail behind the Victoria General Hospital around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Police said the View Royal Fire Department successfully put the fire out, but, with the warm weather, it could have spread quickly and affected nearby homes.

Police and fire investigators are now probing how the flames broke out, but say early indications are that something was amiss.

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“We have received information that there were two males in their early 20s on BMX bicycles who appeared to be trying to put out the fire,” West Shore RCMP Const. Nancy Saggar said in a media release.

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“These males left the scene prior to police arrival. We are asking these males to come forward and speak to police, as they may have information regarding the fire investigation.”

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Both men are described as Caucasian and in their early 20s. One was wearing a blue shirt, and one had a neon yellow bag strapped to his back.  Both were seen riding BMX bikes westbound on the Galloping Goose trail.

Police say the fire danger rating in the area remains high, and that the fire could have had a “disastrous outcome.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the fire or the two men seen at the scene to call West Shore RCMP or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.