The forest fire on Maple Mountain was considered under control as of Aug. 16. (File photo)

The forest fire on Maple Mountain was considered under control as of Aug. 16. (File photo)

Maple Mountain fire ‘under control’, no longer actively burning

Workers still looking for hot spots

As of Aug. 16, there are no active fires on Maple Mountain near Crofton and authorities are indicating that the situation is “under control”.

Natasha Horsman, a spokeswoman for the Municipality of North Cowichan, said that while nothing is currently actively burning on the mountain and no fire crews are engaged there now, it’s still too early to say the fire is completely out.

But she said some workers are on the mountain dealing with any hot spots that still may be smouldering under the ground.

“A contractor will continue to monitor the area, and it may take several weeks or longer before it can be determined that the fire is completely out,” Horsman said.

Seven fire departments from the Cowichan Valley, along with the BC Wildfire Service and fire-fighting helicopters and airplanes, were called to the mountain on Aug. 8 when the fire, which is suspected to be human-caused, was first reported.

RELATED STORY: EVACUATION ALERT CONTINUES FOR MAPLE MOUNTAIN FIRE

Fire crews had been working tirelessly since then to put out the blaze, which grew to as large as eight hectares at its height.

Horsman said all the trails on Maple Mountain remain closed until further notice as hot spots are dealt with and monitoring continues.

RELATED STORY: PROGRESS BEING MADE ON MAPLE MOUNTAIN FIRE

She said municipal staff also need to do a trail assessment to determine how much damage was caused before the trails reopen.

“But the trails on nearby Richard’s Mountain that were closed due to the fire on Maple Mountains will reopen on Aug. 17,” she said.

As well, a government press release issued on Aug. 16 indicates that the Smoky Skies Bulletin issued on Aug. 15 has ended for Vancouver Island, including the Cowichan Valley, and central coast regions.

The bulletin was issued because of elevated levels of fine particulate matter in the air due to smoke from wildfires burning across British Columbia and the western United States.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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