An RCMP officer at a small fire that appears to have been deliberately set in Langley City earlier this week. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

WATCH: Dry weather means grass fires in Langley

Firefighters have been responding to a number of fires already this year.

After Metro Vancouver’s driest May on record, brush fires and grass fires are already starting around the Langleys.

A fire in the waning days of May in the Nicomekl flood plain in Langley City was apparently deliberately set by teenagers, but there have also been a few accidental fires.

“We’ve had a couple of grass fires here recently,” said Langley City fire chief Rory Thompson.

There was also a bark mulch fire on Thursday.

Bark mulch fires tend to become common in dry summers, as drivers flick their cigarettes out of their cars. The cigarette butts can smolder for a long time on mulch in medians and by the side of roads before catching fire.

In Langley Township, fire crews responded to a sizable Thursday grass fire.

“That was a fairly large one that spread fairly fast,” said assistant fire chief Russ Jenkins.

The fire, in the 24400 block of 16th Avenue, spread through a field and was whipped up by the wind.

The fire department sent three trucks and had to bring in water by tanker.

“That’s a bit out of hydrant range,” Jenkins said of the rural area.

Firefighters in the Township, which has extensive rural areas and some large parks, train regularly on tanker shuttles to bring water to outlying areas rapidly.

Each truck also holds about 2,000 feet of hose, so they can reach deep into parks or large properties if there is a fire a considerable distance from the road, though it does mean pumping at higher pressure, Jenkins said.

Bark mulch fires are also an issue for the Township along medians, he said.

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