Brush fires keep fire departments busy

Cooler weather hasn’t changed the extreme fire warnings on the West Shore.

Cooler weather hasn’t changed the extreme fire warnings on the West Shore.

View Royal Fire Rescue fought a brush fire at Thetis Lake, on Aug. 28 shortly after 6 p.m.

“We were able to knock it down with water from the bush truck,” said fire Chief Paul Hurst. “It was a remote area and there was no way to use lake water.”

The bush truck was able to drive up to the fire, about one kilometre aware from Bellamy Road. The space was tight and the truck had to reverse its way out.

A helicopter was called into assist with water, but due to the dim evening light the helicopter could not be used.

The 100 foot by 100 foot fire was sparked by an unattended campfire. Fires and camping are prohibited in the park.

“It was a pretty well hidden campsite and it appeared to be well used,” Hurst said, adding the information has been sent to the Capital Regional District parks department.

On Sunday, Aug. 26, Metchosin firefighters attended a brush fire on Malloch Road. Fire hydrants had been placed on the road in the spring when a water main was extended to service homes in the area as well as the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre.

However, the CRD had turned the hydrants off to test water quality. Aware of this, the Metchosin Volunteer Fire Department notified the CRD, which immediately dispatched someone to turn on a hydrant.

“CRD isolated one hydrant to boost water pressure,” said Metchosin Capt. Jason Humphries who was pleased with the quick response of CRD.

The fire grew to 100 feet by 160 feet and was travelling up a bank towards a house. “We were able to get to the fire when it was within 20 feet of the house,” Humphries said.

The fire was also caused by a bonfire that had not been properly contained.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com