View Royal firefighter Rob Marshall foams brush on a rocky cliff in Thetis Lake park near Highlands Road to contain a brush fire on Aug. 2.

Large, remote brush fire contained in Thetis Lake park

View Royal Fire Rescue contained an aggressive brush fire that scorched a rocky outcrop at Thetis Lake park Tuesday afternoon and threatened to spread into the forest.



View Royal Fire Rescue contained an aggressive brush fire that scorched a rocky outcrop at Thetis Lake park Tuesday afternoon and threatened to spread into the forest.

The fire burned about half an acre of brush and moss before firefighters smothered the hillside in foam spray. Backed by Colwood Fire Rescue, View Royal threw all the firefighters it could muster to halt the fire’s spread deeper into the park.

View Royal fire Chief Paul Hurst suspects an illegal campfire ignited thick moss, allowing flames to spread and crawl across the hillside. Called in around 3 p.m., the fire was about 1.5 kilometres north from the park entrance on Highland Road.

“It’s a really rugged area. We haven’t had a fire up here before. There’s evidence of camping and partying up in this area,” Hurst said. “This is a reminder that there are no fires permitted in parks … we are sitting at a high to extreme fire danger. This is the grief and devastation caused by an unattended campfire.”

Hundreds of hectares of forest surrounding Thetis Lake is thick with dry brush, leaves and grasses that could feed a potentially devastating forest fire. It’s fortunate Tuesday’s fire didn’t spread beyond the high, rocky bluff, Hurst said.

“It’s going to take weeks of rain to bring this hazard level down. If you look around the forest area now, (the grass) is yellow, we had substantial growth in fuels in spring and summer,” he said. “We are in a situation where we have large amounts of fuel that’s dried out.”

Colwood crews made water runs to a fire hydrant in a Watkiss Way neighbourhood, allowing View Royal firefighters to contain the smoky, smoldering fire within an hour. Highlands Road was closed to traffic for about 40 minutes before vehicles were allowed south to exit the park.

B.C. Forest Service and Capital Regional District fire crews also attended and helped dig out burning moss, a long and labourious process.

At the same time, three bark mulch fires broke out along Island Highway in View Royal, likely from drivers flicking cigarettes in the median during rush hour.

“The most disappointing thing about this is while we were dealing with an unattended or errant campfire, there were (three) other fires in View Royal that Colwood had to respond to,” Hurst said.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

Victoria People’s Party candidate says campaign signs stolen around city

PPC candidate Alyson Culbert says she finds theft ‘disturbing’

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read