The fire that continues to burn on the west side of Maple Mountain near Crofton is estimated at about 5.5 hectares in size as of Thursday afternoon.
Seven fire departments and the BC Wildfire Service continue to battle the fire into the evening, though the situation is looking promising, according to an update from the Municipality of North Cowichan at 4 p.m.
“Fire crews and BC Wildfire Service report making good progress today and the wildfire appears to be largely contained at this time,” the update said.
Despite the containment, nearby residents remain on a 30-minute evacuation alert as a precaution.
“The evacuation alert for Osborne Bay Road East from Herd Road to Tatlo Road West continues as those residences are closest to the wildfire,” the municipality said. “Please stay on the ready as heat and wind can make wildfires unpredictable.”
Overnight, a 50-foot by 50-foot area sparked up at 3:15 a.m. but crews were able to douse the flames. Other areas of the fire continued to “smoulder and erupt sporadically,” according to an update from North Cowichan issued at noon on Thursday.
“Continue to expect smoke in the area,” the Municipality’s statement read. “The public is asked to be alert and on the looking for any new fires. If you see smoke or flames, please call 9-1-1 to report the concern and provide as detailed location information as possible to assist firefighters in locating the potential fire.”
Citizens are reminded to stay clear of the area to allow for emergency crews to have the space they need.
New information from the Municipality is available at www.northcowichan.ca/FireEvent
For alerts from North Cowichan, sign up for e-alerts at www.northcowichan.ca/eAlert
Area farmer Jennifer Woike spent Wednesday night moving horses and even a donkey to the relative safety of her property.
She and her husband Ian Woike were also called upon to deliver diesel to firefighters to maintain operation of their generators.
The Cowichan Exhibition has agreed to provide space for horses that need to be evacuated from the Maple Mountain area if necessary. For more information, contact the Ex office at 250-748-0882.
Also Wednesday, citizens began posting to Twitter what they could see, offering help and praising firefighters for their quick responses.
Maple Mountain fire near Duncan. About 2km away from my friends home. They have livestock & have some folks w/horse trailers lined up but may need more help. There are others in the area w/livestock as well.— Jackie Hendrix (@OrcaBC101) August 9, 2018
Photos by Akana Farms pic.twitter.com/OiDubQ2uLJ
A fire started near Maple Mountain this afternoon - I know there are some very dedicated firefighters out there with helicopter support doing their best to keep us safe.— Alistair MacGregor (@AMacGregor4CML) August 8, 2018
Please be careful in these hot and dry conditions! pic.twitter.com/k680aOllHu
Cowichan horse peeps - we’ve got a fire on Maple Mountain. Not crazy close but close enough - would love to get a sense of who has room for horses and can trailer out if needed. Our guys are taken care of but there... https://t.co/t8W132QwpF— Alexa Linton (@alexalinton) August 8, 2018