Great Central Lake fire 30% contained

Great Central Lake fire 30% contained

A fire on a hillside above the Great Central Lake is believed to have been started by a downed power line. Dean Stoltz reports.

The smoke could be seen across Great Central Lake as water bombers began their initial attack Friday afternoon.

The fire started in an area where a hydro line had come down into the tinder dry forest.

Two planes and two helicopters responded and began dousing the flames with repeated drops of water and retardant.

“Helicopters did show up first there were two of them on-site that were bucketing on the fire and then the air tankers came in and did their work and the ground crews were working adjacent with the air tankers and the helicopters.” said the Coastal Fire Centre’s Mark Petrovic at the scene Saturday.

People on the lake had a front row seat as the pilots took advantage of a water source so close to the fire.

“And they would come down and swoop into the lake and fill up and go and dump and they had less than I think a 5 minute turnaround for picking up and dumping and coming back, it was, it was awesome,” said Carol Cutforth who watched the planes from a nearby cabin.

“They were on it. It was just continuously scooping in front of us. We saw them scoop maybe 15 times, it was a lot.” added Neala Nixon.

All things considered this summer the fire is small but it was on the side of a hill and had the potential to grow out of control.

“The fire grew to just under a hectare in size. The potential for the fire to go upslope was there so it was a good thing that we had initial response very quickly.” said Petrovic.

The fire was 30 per cent contained Saturday afternoon as a helicopter continued to bucket water on to the smouldering wooded area and ground crews moved in to do the hard work.

“I call it the glamorous job of ground and pounding that you got to get in there to expose all the roots, the organics that are still burning underground and then suppress it and that’s what gives us that containment.” said Petrovic.
No structures are at risk.

Crews expect to be working on the fire for at least a few more days.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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