Mark Holland

Mark Holland

Update: Fire crews contain blaze burning near Brannen Lake

NANAIMO – Firefighters battled a blaze in the Lantzville area, with B.C. Wildfire Service Coastal Fire Centre assisting.

A blaze in the Brannen Lake and Lantzville area is fully contained, say fire officials.

The fire, which was called in at around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, was in Lantzville department jurisdiction, and its firefighters attacked the blaze with assistance from B.C. Wildfire Service’s Coastal Fire Centre. Nanaimo Fire Rescue was on standby. The fire was burning just off Vipond Road in the Lantzville foothills, said Donna MacPherson, Coastal Fire Centre spokeswoman. It was in an area with “fairly heavy rocky outcroppings and heavy timbers,” which she said made it a difficult fire to fight.

The fire has been contained to a 0.8 hectare area, MacPherson said Wednesday morning. Rob Chatton, Lantzville Fire Rescue chief, said the fire was 100 per cent contained before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“The fire has gone into patrol,” said MacPherson. “We’ve sent three firefighters to assist the fire department looking for hot spots and they’ve found 10 altogether, so we’re assisting the fire department just getting rid of those last hot spots.”

Chatton said 12 Lantzville firefighters battled the blaze with four pieces of apparatus, including a brush truck, pumper truck and water tender.

MacPherson said Coastal Fire Centre crews consisted of three initial attack crews, totalling nine firefighters, one officer and a helicopter.

“The biggest challenge for us, because it’s in a remote location, was access, which was only four-wheel drive available and then water, because our tenders and our bigger pumpers couldn’t get anywhere near here, so it [took] some time to stretch some 1,500 feet of hose to get out there.

“Once that was done, we had to get water on the fire and the air support at the beginning obviously made a huge difference,” said Chatton.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Chatton was thankful for the help and proud of the effort of his team, which is comprised of volunteers.

“We’re predominantly structural firefighters and our crews just really worked hard and appreciated the assistance from our mutual aid partners with [Wildfire Service] and initially Nanaimo Fire Rescue,” he said.