Fire crews will remain on site mopping up through the weekend
Firefighting crews will remain at the scene of Thursday’s forest fire near Bamberton Provincial Park through the weekend.
They will be mopping up what remains of a fire that started Thursday and spread quickly.
Within hours flames had spread to both sides of the Malahat Highway and the fires grew to 1.5 hectares each.
Investigators are also on scene trying to determine exactly how the it started.
Dan Taudin-Chabot from the Coastal Fire Service says it began in a slash pile.
“It started in this area, we’re sure of that, and with the wind direction and the fire spread and it ended up creeping west.”
Fire Investigator Morgan Boghean spent the morning examining and sifting through the burnt wood and stumps.
“It’s looking like it is human caused. We’ve had some lightning this year but we haven’t seen any evidence of any lightning trees nearby. So, it’s still under investigation.”
Burning embers blew across the highway yesterday sparking a second fire, closing the northbound lane of the highway near the Bamberton exit, backing up traffic for hours.
“I got a bit of a cramp in my leg from going to the gas to the brake you know. It took us about two hours,” said one motorist.
Crews will take the entire weekend to ensure the fire is completely out.
“They are really penetrating down with water and making sure they get all the heat out, because we want to make sure we don’t walk away with any heat left,” said Dan Taudin-Chabot.
With the south coast fire danger rating at “extreme” http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/fire-danger the first firefighters on scene yesterday say they got lucky.
“That’s probably one of the scariest things, with Mill Bay, we’ve been very lucky for the past many years,” said Mill Bay Fire Chief Ron Beck.
“To be honest with you, we were lucky with this one, we didn’t have any major winds.”
The forecast http://weather.gc.ca/city/pages/bc-85_metric_e.html is calling for cooler temperatures, but windy overnight.
The real help may come from showers predicted for early next week.