The brush fire at Mill Hill Park is officially out, says Langford Fire Rescue.
The fire burned for about three days, and then firefighters had to monitor the area for a few days after to make sure there were no hot spots remaining before it could be declared out. The fire started on July 21 and burned 1.9 hectares between Langford and View Royal, but did not affect any structures in the area.
“We were fortunate that the fire was on rock so it didn’t reach too far,” said Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey. “When wildfires burn in areas with lots of roots it could take months to extinguish.”
Significant resources poured in to help contain the blaze when it first started. Firefighters from View Royal, Langford, Colwood and Esquimalt were called to Mill Hill Regional Park just before 5 p.m. on July 21 for reports of a growing fire burning towards the summit. In total, 70 firefighters were on the ground. Provincial reinforcements included two medium helicopters from Parksville, one fixed air tanker from Abbotsford and two forestry attack crews from Cobble Hill.
As the fire diminished, fewer resources were needed on scene, and approximately five firefighters were looking after the area over the last couple of days.
Firefighters are still doing patrols in the area to educate people about how to be fire safe on trails and in park areas, as the fire was believed to be human-caused.
“As the weather continues to dry out, people need to be cautious and make sure when they are out and about, to take every precaution for preventing a wildfire,” said Aubrey. “We are at a high risk for wildfires with these temperatures continuing on, and could reach extreme by the weekend.”
Aubrey noted reminders such as being mindful not to toss cigarette butts, or to watch when you are cutting your grass or out riding an ATV with a hot exhaust because sparks could occur and catch fire.
“Things have changed and we want people to be understanding of the risk,” said Aubrey. “After a wet cold spring, this is a good wake up call on how quickly conditions can change.”
Aubrey added residents can help protect their homes and property from fire. A good resource for information can be found at firesmartbc.ca. “We need to work together to prevent wildfires. Let’s hope for an uneventful rest of the summer.”