North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department, (NOVFD) responded to a bush fire on a logging road in the area of Christie Falls around 1:30 pm, Sunday August 16. The fire was fully extinguished at around 5:30 pm.
Crews from Ladysmith Fire Rescue, North Cedar, Cranberry, and the BC Wildfire Service also responded to the blaze.
NOVFD captain Kris Hill he knew the fire response required significant resources and manpower.
“It was quite large and far up into the bush. Being the hottest day of the year so far, I knew we’d have a lot of trouble battling fatigue. We needed a lot of water, and manpower,” he said.
Temperatures reached over 30 degrees celcius as crews ran kilometres of hose from the Oyster Bay Microtel up to the bush fire.
Hill estimated the fire reached roughly a hectare and a half in size. It was the biggest fire that NOVFD has responded to this year.
Luckily, a flank of the fire burned itself up to a trail that acted as a natural fire break. Crews laid hose on the opposite flank, and contained the fire from there.
While the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, Hill said it is likely the fire was human caused. A variety of garbage and glass jars were found in the fire area. Those items may have played a role in setting the fire.
“There is a lot of human activity up there, and lots of garbage,” Hill said. “Who’s to say that the sun didn’t hit a glass jar and spark something that way? There’s bagged garbage too. People come dump stuff in the bush all the time.”
“A message I’d really like to get out to people is pack out what you pack in. If you go out for the day, take out what you’re bringing with you.”