A small fire in the Beaver Lodge Forests Lands on July 28 was extinguished after a quick response by the Campbell River Fire Department and BC Wildfire Service — after being notified by an early morning dog-walker.
The fire was called in by resident Darlene Darcat, who walks the paths of Beaver Lodge nearly every morning. She could faintly smell smoke as she exited her vehicle parked in the south lot, but it was not until she started walking that she realized there might be a fire nearby.
“The further I got down the trail, the stronger the smell was, and then when I looked to the left looking through the trees, I started seeing smoke,” said Darcat. “I was getting anxious — and I’m even getting anxious talking about it — because it was getting worse so quickly, so I decided to call 911.”
The Campbell River Fire Department received the call at 6:28 a.m., and responded shortly thereafter, said Campbell River Fire Chief Thomas Doherty. Crews were met on site by two joggers also on site, who helped direct them to the fire, which was located in the forest off the trail network. The fire was assessed as a slow-moving, ground fire, 40 by 40 feet in size, he said.
Fire department crews were able to build a guard to stop the fire from spreading.
“We were able to get a containment around it pretty quickly,” said Doherty.
At around 7 a.m., assistance from the BC Wildfire Services was requested. It responded with an officer and a crew of four firefighters, said Dorthe Jakobsen, fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service coastal fire centre.
Because of its location, crews had to stretch hose lines for 2,000 to 3,000 feet to fight the fire. As the area was treed, the crews spent extra time focusing on roots and stumps. The fire did not expand further and was called out at 8:58 a.m.
Evidence on the ground indicates the fire was human caused, from either a cigarette or man-made fire, he said.
“Obviously we don’t want anybody discarding any smoking materials or having any kind of fires of any nature, especially in the forested area,” said Doherty. “It’s extremely dry out there, we’ve got another heatwave coming through for the next few days, and it’s going to continue to dry out. We’re going to need a substantial amount of rain over a long period before we see any reprieve