Oak Bay Fire investigates suspicious fires outside school

Youths suspected of setting three separate fires at Monterey school

A string of small fires outside an Oak Bay school is raising the alarm with the Oak Bay Fire Department.

“Over the last two weeks there’s been some mischief activity around Monterey Middle School in that there have been three separate fires set,” said Capt. Rob Kivell with the Oak Bay Fire Department, who suspects that youths are responsible for lighting the fires.

The Oak Bay Police have been notified and are assisting with the investigation.

“They’re basically just paper fires at this point, or experimentation type fires. The problem with those is that they can escalate into something more serious as they get bolder,” said Kivell.

“It’s something the police are aware of and they’re putting extra patrols in that area.”

He said the fires have been set around a fenced-off generator in the staff parking area of the school.

“They’ve been poking lit papers in there and they even lit up some shrubbery that they were able to get going with some paper around it.”

While the fires have not caused any damage to the building, Kivell said it’s something the fire department wants to keep on top of.

“We have had in the past in that area of south Oak Bay some mischief fires with newspapers and different things so we want to be on top of it and make sure this isn’t an escalating thing.”

So far the fires have all been set at night and on weekends, and anyone who observes groups of kids around the school after hours or other suspicious activity are asked to contact police.