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.
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