Stanley park tree burned from within – risk of collapse

In this photo captured by a response worker the fire is seen almost completely contained within the trunk

Some areas of Stanley park still smell like a bonfire Friday morning but leave your marshmallows at home, this fire’s danger goes beyond flames and smoke.

Vancouver Fire & Rescue Service says the blaze started Thursday morning just north of Beaver Lake, but they hadn’t received a call until almost 10pm. At this time it is believed the fire was started deliberately inside the tree by someone possibly trying to keep warm in the cold and damp weather. Old growth trees, like this, often have a split in the truck and hollow areas inside that provide sturdy shelter. In a tweet, the Vancouver Park Board said, “The tree is hollow and fire is burning from inside.”

Fire crews and park board staff have been monitoring the fire, allowing it to burn itself out within the tree. Fire hose remains connected in the area should other spot fires spread from the location. The blaze continued for about 24 hours with at least one flareup around midnight.

At this time the public is being asked to avoid the area. Although the fire itself doesn’t pose an immediate risk, the structure of the tree is believed to be seriously weakened and could fall into nearby walking trails.

Some trails remained blocked into the late morning with park workers advising those who accidentally stumbled into the area to use an alternate route.

Born and raised minutes from Motown, in Windsor Ontario, I got my start in radio and print in Canada's southernmost city before opportunities reporting and anchoring for television brought me to Muskoka and eventually North Bay. More recently, I served Kingston as a Videojournalist and News Director for an app-based company. Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia is home now and I'm excited to get to know my new community by serving as a multimedia reporter & anchor at 98.3 FM!