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

Langford considers regulating sale of spray paint following string of vandalism

Regulations could involve restricting sale to minors, locking up spray paint

French Open at Bear Mountain serves a winner

The US Open is scheduled for Sept. 3 to 8 on the hardcourts at Henderson Park in Oak Bay

Union Club of B.C. votes in its first female president

16-year member Grace Van den Brink previously served as vice president

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read