Vancouver Island has been relatively unscathed this wildfire season but an unfortunate fire that popped up just south of Nanaimo this week has left one local farmer low on stock for the upcoming Christmas season.
On Monday afternoon at about 4 p.m., Mike Gogo of Gogo's Christmas Tree Farm said a tenant living on the 240-acre plot of land called to tell him a fire had started on the property.
Gogo called the proper authorities and said crews from three area volunteer fire departments rushed to the scene.
Despite hours of assistance from firefighters, the 76-year-old farmer said he lost about 1,000 mature Christmas trees worth an estimated $35,000.
"I've been waiting for the shoe to drop," said Gogo, talking about the current hot, dry conditions on the island. "It just takes a spark."
He said at one point, crews actually had to put out flames after an exhaust pipe on one of the trucks lit the ground on fire.
Not only did multiple trucks respond to the scene, but two helicopters were also deployed from the Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville located about 40 kilometres north of Nanaimo.
A lake located less than five kilometres from the farm provided water for the choppers to quench the fire.
"I was timing them and they were actually making a round trip every two and a half minutes which is absolutely incredible," said Gogo.
He said crews had the fire under control in about five hours and a couple members stayed through the night to keep an eye on the situation.
Incredibly grateful for their service, Gogo said he hopes people remember these are volunteers who do not get paid and to take this fire as a warning to make sure every precaution is taken to prevent others.
The cause of this particular fire has not been confirmed.