Cigarettes have caused up to 18 brush fires in Vancouver so far this year

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Cigarette Car/Shutterstock

While Vancouverites are enjoying the early warm weather, tinder dry conditions and human carelessness have caused 18 brush fires so far in the city.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Jonathan Gormick tells Vancity Buzz the vast majority of them are caused by cigarette butts, and the most recent one happened in Stanley Park on Thursday.

“Crews arrived to find a 10 by 10 area of the park on fire, and the first arriving apparatus was able to extinguish it,” says Gormick.

Campfire couple (minnebaevpro/Shutterstock)

SEE ALSO: Channel your inner firefighter, urges coastal wildfire official

Crews stuck around for “quite some time,” he says, in order to make sure the flames remained extinguished.

Gormick says he’s expecting a busy summer for Vancouver fire fighters if this trend continues.

“We tend to see a whole lots of those fires in planters or on boulevards, and in areas where people come out of buildings, have a smoke, and flick their cigarette butts,” he says. “It’s pretty hard to think of it being anything else. It’s not like we have lightning strikes – fires don’t just randomly start.”

Thus far, yesterday’s Stanley Park fire was the worst out of the 18, but Gormick notes there’s still time for that to change.

“It probably won’t be the last we see this summer.”

Gormick adds that smoking on beaches and in parks is illegal.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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