07/08/2015 12:05 EDT | Updated 07/08/2016 05:59 EDT

North Vancouver brush fires deliberately set, say fire officials

Residents along Hastings Creek in North Vancouver are on high alert after firefighters doused a series of deliberately set fires this morning, in many cases in the forest just beyond their yards.

Assistant Fire Chief Michael Cairns confirmed that 15 firefighters found fires along the trail at the foot of Allan Road near Hastings Creek. They found up to ten small fires, some up to three square metres in size.

By 8:30 a.m PT fire crews had doused the flames, but officials say it's clear the fires were caused by humans, pointing to paper and a beer cans found at the scene.

Resident Kirsten Bell could see the smoke curling up from just behind her fence.

"It's a bit unsettling, to say the least, to have somebody intentionally setting fires, when such a crisis is already underway," said Bell.

"My neighbor has a hose and a sprinkler pointed at the fence to keep it away from their house and keep the area damp."