The fire on Macaulay Road reached four hectares in size. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

Oyster River fire crews respond to three separate fires Sunday

It took more than 24 hours to fully extinguish Macauley Road fire

It took Oyster River and neighbouring fire crews more than 24 hours to fully extinguish a brush fire.

Before 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, fire crews were called to a property on Macaulay Road, west of Oyster River, where a fire roughly four hectares in size was burning.

Oyster River fire chief Bruce Green says the fire was caused by a man burning a stump pile which soon got out of control. Once crews arrived, they were initially challenged to find the head of the fire as it was about 500 yards away from the property’s driveway in thick trees.

Tenders from Courtenay and Cumberland were called to provide mutual aid, as well as an engine from Courtenay fire, and by around 9 p.m. crews got the fire under control. Members of Comox Fire Department and one of their engines stood by at the Oyster River Fire Department and helped with a first responder call while the rest of the local crews were responding to the fire.

The local crews finally left the scene at approximately 7 p.m. Monday.

There were no injuries and no structures damaged in the fire.

Earlier in the day on Sunday, Oyster River crews were called to another fire, this one on York Road.

A man was burning debris in his yard, but the fire got out of control. Luckily, the green grass surrounding the fire kept it small and crews were able to knock it down quickly.

Shortly before the Macaulay Road fire, crews also responded to another fire, caused by a property owner burning an ant hill.

“It got out of hand and it burnt about a 40-foot circle around his house,” said Green. “It was close to his house but there was no real danger to anything.”

While spring is in the air and all the plants and trees have come to life, it is actually drier than it looks, warned Green.

“If you’re going to burn, be very smart and have water nearby and make sure that when you leave, your fire’s out,” he said. “Even if it’s just a campfire or a beach fire because if the wind comes up, it can change everything drastically.”

Currently, the fire danger rating is low for most of the Island, but burn permits are required for all fires over 50 cm in diameter in the Black Creek/Oyster Bay Fire Protection Area.

Green recommends property owners take the FireSmart program to learn how to properly protect their home.

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