Firefighters unload hoses at the scene of a stubborn fire deep in the woods behind McLeod Athletic Park Tuesday morning. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

UPDATE: Two brush fires in two days behind McLeod Athletic Park in Langley

Both believed to be human-caused, fire department says

Langley Township firefighters were called to a stubborn brush fire deep in the woods behind McLeod Athletic Park near 58 Avenue and 214 Street early Tuesday around 7 a.m.

Then, they were called back Wednesday night to the same area for the same reason.

At least four fire vehicles and more than a dozen firefighters were on the scene Tuesday.

“There were no obvious signs of ignition,” said Township Deputy Fire Chief Russ Jenkins, but based on the discovery of what appeared to be evidence someone was camping there, the blaze was believed to be “human-caused.”

Jenkins said the Tuesday fire consisted of several “pockets” of fire within an area of roughly 400 square feet, with the biggest pocket covering about 300 square feet

Fire crews had to cross a dried-up stream bed and make a long walk through heavy bush to bring their hoses deep behind the trees next to the baseball field used by the Langley Blaze team.

The blaze cast a pall of smoke over the area until firefighters were able to get water on the site.

On Wednesday, multiple Township fire units returned to the scene around 8 p.m. to deal with a second, smaller blaze not far from the first fire in the woods behind the baseball diamond.

Township Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Ferguson said crews were on the scene for about an hour-and-a-half.

For years, the Township has been dealing with multiple homeless camps in the area near McLeod Athletic Park, spending as much as $2,400 a day to clean them out.

READ MORE: ‘Find a place somewhere, where we can stay’

Last year, a Metro Vancouver task force on homelessness said the Township of Langley and City of Langley are among nine Metro municipalities reporting larger homeless camps that have more than four people.

Cleanups have been costing the Township hundreds of thousands of dollars.

READ MORE: Township spent $121,000 cleaning up homeless camps in first 11 months of 2016

Homeless campers near the Maples he Maples Discovery Gardens Co-op in the 7700 block of 200 Street were blamed for near-constant thefts that forced the permanent closure of the non-profit community service cooperative.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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Fire crews had to go deep into the woods to get at a stubborn brush fire near McLeod Athletic Park in Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

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