A combination of heat and wind has created challenges for fire crews battling a wildfire on Maple Mountain in Crofton Friday, but firefighters are keeping the flames contained.
Forty firefighters from five fire departments remain working on the blaze that broke out there on Wednesday afternoon.
Officials said Friday morning that there was no growth in the blaze, which is about 5.5 hectares, overnight. Cooler conditions are forecast for Saturday, though possible thunderstorms could complicate matters if there are lightning strikes, though any rain would be welcome. Officials ask that people remain on the lookout for any new fires and if you see smoke or flames call 911 to report it with detailed location information to help responders find the location.
Firefighters are working to dump as much water on the flames as possible, the Municipality of North Cowichan said in its fire update, and they will continue to work for at least several more days to put out hot spots that can erupt from undergrowth and root systems.
There will be no helicopters working the fire today.
The helicopters, several fire planes and seven fire departments along with the BC Wildfire Service were called in Wednesday when the fire, which is suspected to be human-caused, was first reported. Firefighters have been working since then to put out the blaze, which grew to as large as eight hectares.
The fire is in the Municipality of North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve, and Maple Mountain is a popular spot for hiking, biking, horseback riding and other recreational activities. It is also close to the village of Crofton and outlying residential areas.
So far no structures have been threatened by the fire, but an evacuation alert went out Wednesday and continues for residents on Osborne Bay Road east from Herd Road to Tatlo Road west. Under the alert, residents are asked to be ready to leave their homes within 30 minutes in the event of an evacuation order.
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
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