Downtown Quesnel has been doing its impression of world politics, lately, with a rash of dumpster fires.
Quesnel Fire Department was hosing down the hot messes most recently on May 1, April 27, 26, 17 and 7. Those were, respectively, on Front Street, Anderson Street, Rita Road and the earlier pair back on Front Street. Not all were downtown but all were close to active businesses. All were reported between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
There have been others as well.
“We have had a few dumpster fires lately, but not sure as to the cause. We have this once in while, where we get a rash of them,” said Quesnel’s fire chief Ron Richert.
Typically, dumpsters burn for a few different reasons. They are recepticles for waste material, in the first place, so the possibilities often present for combustible materials combining to ignite and spread inside, whether by an outside heat source or spontaneous combustion. If improperly discarded or inadvertently volatile chemicals are involved, these can present significant danger.
Since dumpsters are considered garbage locations, and metal-clad at that, they are sometimes used by people as a discard spot for lit matches, cigarette butts, drug paraphernalia, etc. These can sometimes ignite inside.
People with homelessness realities sometimes use dumpsters as places to take shelter, hide from sight, or other reasons. Their activities inside can sometimes result in fires.
Sometimes they are lit up on purpose either as a means to get warm or out of wonton arson.
The greatest collateral dangers of dumpster fires come from possibilities like toxic smoke, intense heat doing damage to adjacent buildings or vehicles or other values, or the contents of the dumpster being explosive or significantly flammable and the fire spreading.