Update: The Coastal Fire Centre says the fire that continues to burn on the west side of the Malahat is now 90% contained.
Malahat Fire Chief Ron Beck earlier told CHEK News that fire on the east side of the highway had been fully contained and they are mainly mopping up.
Traffic was re-opened on the Trans-Canada Highway in both directions at 8:30 p.m.
The first 911 calls about a possible fire near the Bamberton exit of the Malahat came in at around 1 pm.
The flames spread quickly given the hot, dry conditions in the area.
The fire went from half a hectare at 2:30 pm to 1.5 hectares before 5 pm, jumping the highway in the process.
It closed a northbound section of the Malahat Highway to all but commercial traffic and reduced southbuond traffic to a crawl.
“I got a bit of a cramp in my leg from going from the gas to the break, it took us about two hours,” said one motorist.
The BC Wildfire Service assumed command, dispatching 26 firefighters and three helicopters to support volunteer crews from Mill Bay, Malahat, Cowichan Bay and Shawnigan Lake.
A fixed wing air tanker made several drops of fire retardant while three helicopters bucketed the flames.
The fire was visible from the Saanich Peninsula as well as the Malahat Highway.
A small brush fire began in the very same areas as today’s back in late June but was quickly extinguished.
The cause of the latest fire is under investigation.
— BC Transportation (@TranBC) August 25, 2016