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‘Heart-breaking act of vandalism’ claims world’s largest burl

The world’s largest burl in Port McNeill caught fire last night, and firefighters spent hours putting it out.

However, the shelter covering it has been destroyed, and the burl itself is badly scorched.

Former mayor Gaby Wickstrom called it a “heart-breaking act of vandalism.” She was involved in getting the burl, a large bumpy growth that can form on a tree, brought to town in 2005. It was taken from a 525-year-old Sitka spruce harvested in Holberg, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

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She said the natural oddity was a popular tourist attraction.

The fire department said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, and crews are still on scene this morning extinguishing the last of the hot spots.

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