Colwood Fire Rescue, Engine 51 (JL1967/Flikr)

Authorities have deemed two grass fires on Saturday morning in Colwood “suspicious”.

The first fire, which occurred just after midnight, burned 150 ft by 130 ft of grass along the Perimeter Trail between Perimeter Place and Perimeter Park.

“Multiple burning points lead us to believe [the Perimeter Trail fire] is suspicious in nature and we are investigating that one as being suspicious and human-caused.”

Cassiday also revealed how the investigation is progressing. “In the Perimeter [Trail] fire we have been in contact with witnesses,” he said. “People were seen rapidly leaving the area of the fire origin. We will be working with the RCMP in identifying suspects.”

A second fire, discovered in an area between Allandale Road and the Veterans Memorial Parkway at 9:25 am, burned 50 feet by 15 feet. 

“This [second] fire was a slow, smoldering fire and indications are that it had been burning for quite a while. So, the time of ignition is hard to specify,” said Cassidy.

However, the fire’s cause appeared to be via the placement and ignition of “personal items”. Cassidy didn’t specify what those items were, but confirmed that their presence led investigators to believe that: “[this fire] was not a random event, but a set stage.”

“I do believe as the investigation continues that we will be classifying both of these as suspicious in nature, human-caused,” said Cassidy. “We will be looking for persons of interest in both of these fires.”

“Given that both of these were either city or private property it is an offense,” he continued. “Given different weather conditions at the time, both of these fires had the potential [to be] much more serious.”

Two of four recent fires

Another pair of fires were also discovered in Colwood on the 21st of June: a garbage can fire on Latoria Blvd and a dumpster fire at Red Barn Market. Both are still being investigated, but due to the possibility of ignition by cigarette butts, they’re not immediately being considered as suspicious.

“No lives were in jeopardy and no property was in immediate danger [in any of the fires],” said Cassidy. “But we want to make sure that people know that we need to catch these fires quickly and also to note that if they notice any suspicious behaviour from anybody within the neighbourhoods of Colwood or anywhere in the West Shore, please contact 911.”

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