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Firefighters prevented blaze from spreading to standing timber, says fire chief

Downed power line was likely cause of the wildfire
A helicopter was visible north of Campbell River near a small wildfire on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Firefighters prevented a small wildfire from turning into a larger blaze near Campbell River on Wednesday afternoon, said Thomas Doherty, Campbell River’s fire chief.

“Crews were able to stop the spread of fire into the standing timber with the assistance of BC Wildfire crews and two helicopters,” said Doherty in an email to the Mirror on Wednesday evening.

The fire broke out under the transmission lines of a BC Hydro corridor off the Duncan Bay Main, a logging road north of the city.

The location of the blaze posed a challenge for crews, Doherty said. Firefighters had to hike in and extend over 2,000 feet of hose, he said.

Crews set up a portable tank at the nearest access road and shuttled water in, he said.

Campbell River’s newly acquired “brush truck” – a relatively small and maneuverable vehicle purchased to help deal with wildfires – was used to pump water to the scene, he said.

Emergency reports indicated that the fire had reached about half a hectare – half the size of a rugby field – as crews responded at around 2 p.m.

The blaze was within the Campbell River Fire Department’s jurisdiction but the Coastal Fire Centre (CFC) also sent resources because it was in a BC Hydro corridor, said Dorthe Jakobsen, a CFC spokesperson.

“There’s a helicopter going to do some bucketing, and there’ll be an initial attack crew as well,” said Jakobsen as the events unfolded.

Facebook users reported hazy air and the smell of smoke as helicopters flew overhead carrying buckets. Smoke was visible from central Campbell River.

Firefighters were still putting out hot spots Thursday morning, Doherty said in an email, but expected the operation to be wrapped up by noon.

The cause of the fire, Doherty says, appears to be a downed hydro line.

Two helicopters were deployed by the Coastal Wildfire Centre to deal with a blaze near Campbell River on Wednesday. Image courtesy Campbell River Fire Department
The Campbell River Fire Department provided this image from Wednesday’s wildfire, which occurred under the transmission lines of a BC Hydro corridor.

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