Canada Day brush fire a reminder to be cautious

A small brush fire northwest of Ladysmith on July 1 is a reminder to be cautious when it’s so dry out.

A small brush fire northwest of Ladysmith on July 1 is a reminder to be cautious when it’s so dry out.

Ladysmith Fire/Rescue crews were called out about 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 1 when smoke was seen behind Ladysmith. It turned out the brush fire was north west of town and outside of Ladysmith Fire/Rescue’s jurisdiction and was on TimberWest lands, but the fire department has a mutual aid agreement with BC Forest Service where the Ladysmith firefighters can go in when needed, explained Ladysmith Fire/Rescue Chief Ray Delcourt.

“We found a fairly large fire in the timberline,” he said. “We moved our crews in with our hose lines and started extinguishing the fire.”

Resources were also brought in from the North Oyster Fire Department, BC Forest Service and TimberWest.

BC Forest Service also brought in a helicopter to dump water on the areas the firefighters couldn’t reach, explained Delcourt, noting the helicopter dropped about 20 loads of water.

When the fire was controlled enough, BC Forest Service relieved the Ladysmith firefighters and made sure there were no hot spots.

Delcourt says this fire serves as a reminder to be careful outside during these hot days.

“I don’t think people realize how dry it is out there,” he said. “We’re not getting much rain, so definitely watch out what you’re doing in forested areas and with campfires and smoking in these areas. There’s so much access to these areas by quads and whatever that if they’re not careful, these things can happen.”

Ladysmith firefighters spent about five hours at the scene, and then BC Forest Service and TimberWest crews did the mop up work.

“It was at the hottest part of the day, and there was definitely the potential to get a lot bigger quicker,” said Delcourt. “We were lucky we were able to get to it quickly. When these kinds of fires are that close to our town, that really makes us aware.

“Luckily when we had the fire, the wind was moving away from town.”

 

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