Crews challenged by wildfire burning in difficult terrain near Gowlland Tod park

Crews challenged by wildfire burning in difficult terrain near Gowlland Tod park
A plume of smoke caused by a fire in Gowlland Tod Park is seen from Goldstream Harbour, Tues., Oct. 4, 2022.

A wildfire burning in a Greater Victoria provincial park remains out of control as crews work to contain it, the BC Wildfire Service said Tuesday afternoon.

Highlands Fire Chief Dean Ford said earlier in the day crews responded to a large brush fire in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park at 1 a.m.

“The fire is located on the steep slopes south of Gowlland Tod Park,” Ford said in an email statement to CHEK News. “Due to the lack of access, darkness and no immediate threat to residents, crews monitored the fire until daybreak.”

Crews from Highlands, Langford and the BC Wildfire Service were deployed, and a helicopter was also dispatched to assist, according to Ford.

Julia Caranci, fire information officer with BC Wildfire Services’s Coastal Wildfire Centre, says the fire is about half a hectare in size, which is about the size of one football field.

“We have three helicopters, one officer and a three person initial attack crew that are enroute to the fire this morning,” Caranci told CHEK News in a phone interview.

“The helicopters were slightly delayed by some bad weather east of us quite a bit east of us, but they are making their way towards that area now. Because this fire is not easily accessible by ground, I understand that we are being assisted by the fire department that has a boat and the boat is being used to get crews to the area. ”

She says the fire is suspected to be human-caused but the cause is under investigation.

Around 3 a.m., it was determined the fire was inaccessible with the current conditions and terrain. Crews kept watch on the fire, and the department noted no structures were threatened.

At 6:30 a.m., the department says crews would work to get a more accurate view and determine how to access the fire. The department noted the growth of the fire has been slow.

The view across from Tunnel Hill, shortly before 10 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2022. (Brenda Lee)

At around 1:30 p.m., Langford Fire, which has provided a boat for use in the wildfire response, posted an update saying the fire was unlikely to grow under current conditions.

In a statement provided at around 3:45 p.m. BCWS maintained that it is still classifying the blaze as “out of control.”


Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!