Crews from the Crofton, North Cowichan-South End and Maple Bay fire halls are being joined by a BC Wildfire Service crew to battle a brush fire just south of where Mt. Sicker Road intersects with the Trans Canada Highway in the Cowichan Valley Thursday afternoon.
Crews were called out around 1:40 p.m.
Initially, dispatchers received calls of a smoke sighting. Soon thereafter they received word from forestry crews working in the area that the size of the fire was 20-feet by 20-feet and moving.
When the volunteer firefighters arrived, via Hidden Hills Road on the west side of the highway, the fire had spread to 100-feet by 200-feet and was moving up the hill.
With temperatures hovering just under 30 C Thursday afternoon, firefighters were asking for drinking water to be brought to the scene, in addition to water tenders.
“At about 13:39, North Cowichan received a call for a bush fire on the side of Mt. Sicker,” said North Cowichan regional fire chief Martin Drakeley. “Crews from Crofton, Maple Bay and South End arrived fairly quickly and were able to start down the flanks of the fire and get to the head.”
By roughly 2:45 p.m., Drakeley said “at this point the fire is under control. We are looking at about a half a hectare in size — about 150 by 200 [feet].”
The chief said it was “extremely timely” that crews were able to respond so quickly.
“It’s extremely dry out there right now and I’m warning people that are going to go out into the bush this weekend to play it safe and try to restrict fires to a minimum if not at all.”
The cause of the first is not yet known.
“North Cowichan has an extensive forest reserve so we’re just trying to figure out if it’s on private lands or if it’s on forest reserve lands.”
More to come if it becomes available.