Cowichan Bay fire chief Colin Gaw and a crew of firefighters were back at the scene of a grass fire in Cobble Hill on Tuesday afternoon to make sure there were no flare-ups.
The fire department had initially been called out on Monday afternoon after a brush-cutter clearing the property sparked and ignited a small fire on private property.
“It was at a private residence and he was cutting some brush,” Gaw explained.
The flames spread quickly into a wooded area.
“It was only about an acre,” said the chief. Even so, a crew of more than a dozen Cowichan Bay firefighters, along with another crew from Mill Bay’s volunteer fire department and yet another from the BC Wildfire Service spent roughly five hours at the scene Monday.
Mop-up continued Tuesday.
“This is probably our biggest bush fire this year so let’s knock on wood and hopefully that’s it,” Gaw said.
Jason de Jong, CVRD Fire Rescue Services Coordinator, said the recent rainfalls the CVRD has experienced has brought “cautious relief” to any serious risk of wildfires locally for the time being.
“Considering how dry this spring was, precipitation during the summer generally helps reduce the risk for wildfires by increasing the overall surface moisture,” de Jong said. “However the need to be vigilant is still high, as surface fuels only need a few hours of sunshine to dry out and larger/ deeper fuels have remained dry.”
Weather stations in the CVRD are recording seasonally normal levels, but it will only take a short period of dry weather for the fire season to become more active.