Tamu Miles A Martin Mars water bomber  dumps a second load on a fire that began on the evening of Aug. 22 and burned until the afternoon hours of Aug. 24. A Forestry Wildfire  Management helicopter was also used to douse the blaze

Tamu Miles A Martin Mars water bomber dumps a second load on a fire that began on the evening of Aug. 22 and burned until the afternoon hours of Aug. 24. A Forestry Wildfire Management helicopter was also used to douse the blaze

The hills are alive with the sound of sirens: Blaze under control

Suspicious fire at the top of the Cowichan Main logging road, approximately four kilometers east of Lake Cowichan, burned for over two days

A suspicious fire at the top of the Cowichan Main logging road, approximately four kilometers east of Lake Cowichan burned for over two days last week.

The Lake Cowichan Fire Department was called out to the blaze on the evening of Aug. 22, but soon was informed by the B.C. Forestry Wildfire Management Branch that because the road is so overgrown they were not needed and were sent back.

“We could have gone up in pick-up trucks,” said Doug Knott, the Lake Cowichan fire chief, and added that because TimberWest and B.C. Wildfire Management were on site taking the same action, Lake Cowichan Fire Department crews were not needed.

Donna MacPherson, the fire information officer for the Coastal Fire Service says that the fire started small, at about half a hectare in size, but winds resulting from a low pressure system on Thursday, Aug. 23 upped the fire to two hectares.

In the early afternoon this same day, the Martin Mars water bomber had to be called down from Sproat Lake, near Pt. Alberni. The bomber dumped two loads on the fire, then left the rest to a Forestry helicopter and provincial and industry ground crews. These crews worked until approximately 9 p.m.

As of Friday, crews were able to bring the fire under control.

“We’re basically in mop up. It’s still burning,” said MacPherson at the time, “but it’s basically smoldering with some open flame. We’re not in the forecast for wind today, so that’s good.”

Crews from the Wildland Fire Service, along with TimberWest crews, were seen down at the boat launch in Lake Cowichan refilling tanker trucks and other vehicles on both Thursday and Friday.

Bruce Ingram, from B.R.I Security was there with his wife, Coun. Jayne Ingram, to help fill the vehicles and make sure crews had enough water and food to keep them hydrated and fed while they worked.

MacPherson says the fire is human caused and is under investigation.

Lake Cowichan RCMP did have to rescue a man who had gotten lost on the mountain after a fight with his wife in the early morning hours of Aug. 22.

“Long and short of it is, adult male has fight with wife so he decides he’s going to show her. So off he goes up the mountain,” said Sgt. Dave Voller of the Lake Cowichan RCMP.

The man phoned 911 at approximately 2 a.m. He could not distinguish any landmarks as fog had set in. Officers told him to stay where he was until they could reach him.

“So our guys fired up the ATVs, went round and best guess was he’d be up Cowichan Main, so off they went and 6.5 kilometres up there they found him . . . but by then it was 6 a.m.,” said Voller.

Voller has queried the officers to find out if the individual was a smoker or if he lit a fire of any kind.

No link between the man and the fire has been made, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

As of press day (Monday), the fire had not been officially declared out, but Marg Drysdale of the Coastal Fire Centre says that it has been turned back over to the property owners (TimberWest), and that they are conducting regular patrols to ensure there are no hot spots.

 

Just Posted

A new laundromat is opening in the Peters Centre in Lake Cowichan. (file photo)
Peters Centre getting all cleaned up

Laundromat being developed at the Neva Road site

Robert's column
Robert Barron column: Skyrocketing house prices a tragedy

North Cowichan councillor Rosalie Sawrie brought an interesting perspective to a discussion… Continue reading

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read