People not used to having fire in sight

The Skutz Falls fire is unique because while still rural, it’s closer to larger population bases

The Skutz Falls fire is unique because while still rural, it’s closer to larger population bases than some of the wildfires elsewhere in the province, according to Coastal Fire Centre Fire Information Officer Marg Drysdale.

While she maintains that the flames shooting from the 10-hectare blaze are not an imminent threat to homes in the Lake Cowichan area, that no roads have been closed and no evacuation orders have been issued, Drysdale did say the proximity to people combined with the relative rarity of larger fires in the region does make for a lot of public interest.

“We haven’t had the fires other areas of the province have had over the years,” she said. “So people aren’t used to seeing fire on the landscape anymore, for the most part, and this is a highly visible fire and people can get to it and people can look at it.”

The public is doing its part not to start fires and that has helped, she said.

“People have been for the most part extremely cooperative, very careful and we are hoping to keep the number down. We’ve been just hammering home all the ways that people can help us out simply because that’s what makes a difference.”

But buckle up, citizens, because fire season is just beginning.

“It is hot, it is dry, it is only July,” Drysdale said last week. “And for Coastal, the fire season is generally the last two weeks of July and the month of August.”