The BC Wildfire Service has changed the status of the Copper Canyon wildfire from ‘out of control’ to ‘being held,’ meaning nearby residences can breathe a sigh of relief. CHEK News received the following correspondence from the Cowichan Valley Regional District:
“‘Being held’ status indicates that with the resources currently committed to the fire, sufficient suppression action has been taken and the fire is not likely to spread beyond existing or predetermined boundaries, under the prevailing and forecasted conditions,” said Kris Schumacher, manager of communications and engagement.
Earlier Monday, CHEK News reporter Skye Ryan was on scene as firefighters battled the then growing blaze. The following is her report prior to the fire’s changed status:
As of 5 p.m Monday, the 32-hectare wildfire had not experienced any growth in size since Friday, despite the area experiencing 40 kilometre an hour winds over the weekend.
According to the Coastal Fire Centre, there are now 46 firefighters battling the blaze on the ground amid the rugged terrain.
In addition to crews on the ground, three helicopters, water tenders and heavy equipment are all being used in the battle against the blaze.
“Thank-you, thank you, thank-you,” said North Cowichan resident Mike Morgan to firefighters. “Fantastic guys.”
“The sky has just been lit up since the fire started and this is all we hear all day,” North Cowichan resident Tara Bardal told CHEK News about firefighting helicopters.
“And we just watch them go all day on trying to keep us safe,” she said.
The close proximity of the fire to nearby homes on Mount Prevost has residents preparing to flee at a moment’s notice, however, evacuation orders have not yet been issued from the BC Wildfire Service.
Jakobsen said residents in the North Cowichan and Duncan area should keep a close monitor on the Cowichan Valley Regional District website for evacuation orders or Copper Canyon alerts over the coming days while crews battle the blaze.