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B.C. Christmas tree farmer believes piece of glass sparked blaze that torched almost 1,000 trees

Click to play video: 'Fire destroys up to 1,000 trees at Nanaimo’s Gogo Christmas Tree Farm' Fire destroys up to 1,000 trees at Nanaimo’s Gogo Christmas Tree Farm
A Nanaimo Christmas tree farmer believes a piece of glass in a dry field is all it took to spark a fire that claimed nearly 1,000 trees on his property. As Jordan Armstrong reports, even his own fire trucks were no match for this emergency. – Jul 30, 2021

A Christmas tree farmer in Nanaimo believes a piece of glass in a dry field sparked a major fire on his property.

Helicopters from the B.C. Wildfire Service was quick to respond by dropping water on the blaze and assisting ground crews.

Gogo’s Christmas Tree Farm had also purchased two second-hand fire trucks because they were concerned about the massive property and the fire risk.

Owner Mike Gogo said he started to notice about 12 years ago that the new trees being planted were showing dry needles before they had been cut down and that’s why he wanted the fire trucks on hand.

But when flames broke out Monday afternoon, Gogo said about 800 to 1,000 trees were destroyed.

Click to play video: 'The urban fire risk across much of B.C. has caught up with the fire risk in the backcountry' The urban fire risk across much of B.C. has caught up with the fire risk in the backcountry
The urban fire risk across much of B.C. has caught up with the fire risk in the backcountry – Jul 29, 2021

Read more: With high temperatures and tinder-dry conditions, B.C.’s wildfire danger is extreme

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Extension Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kevin Young, whose crews helped fight the flames, said it was an aggressive fire.

“(The flames) were actually candling in the Christmas trees, from one to another,” he said.

The cause is under investigation but Gogo believes a discarded bottle or piece of glass in the field is to blame.

The fire risk is so extreme right now that a spark from the exhaust pipe of a responding firetruck even ignited a small blaze.

Gogo told Global News he still has enough trees for this season and he wants to make sure that if anyone needs a tree and they are out of work due to COVID-19 or they are struggling, that he will make sure they still get a Christmas tree this year.

“For me, it’s about Christmas, it’s not about the business,” he said.

— with files from Jordan Armstrong

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