West Vancouver firefighters respond: Fire near Cypress Falls Park

West Vancouver Fire and Rescue firefighting with support from BC Wildfire Service crews

Content of the article

A wildfire that broke out Friday morning in a watershed above West Vancouver has sent a “significant plume of smoke” across Metro Vancouver, but is not threatening homes and businesses in the area.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

The fire on the slopes of Cypress Falls Park is being attacked by West Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service crews with support from the BC Wildfire Service.

Content of the article

It remains at about two hectares — about two city blocks on average — West Vancouver District spokeswoman Donna Powers said in an update Friday afternoon.

“We expect this to be a multi-day event,” Powers said. Although the fire is considered out of control, “the most important thing is that it does not spread and endanger homes and businesses”.

The wildfire appeared to threaten nearby homes and businesses when it broke out Friday morning, but it is not dangerous and is not spreading, the District of West Vancouver said.
The wildfire appeared to threaten nearby homes and businesses when it broke out Friday morning, but it is not dangerous and is not spreading, the District of West Vancouver said. Photo by Jason Payne /PNG

Ground crews make their way through the forest

On Friday morning, two helicopters began dropping water on the fire – which is in a heavily wooded area above the Caulfeild neighborhood – using water drawn from nearby Whyte Lake.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Meanwhile, the crews cut a one-mile path through the woods from the nearest road access and were able to begin attacking from the ground around 3:30 p.m. Helicopters were then recalled so that crews can concentrate on watering down burning debris near the forest floor.

Julia Caranci of the BC Wildfire Service said her staff were working in support of West Van Fire on what was dubbed the Eagle Ridge Wildfire. About 33 firefighters in total are at the fire.

Caranci said the cause is undetermined.

The West Vancouver Fire Department and the BC Wildfire Service respond to the Eagle Ridge Fire in West Vancouver.  The fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. Friday.  The photo was tweeted by the West Vancouver Fire Department.
The West Vancouver Fire Department and the BC Wildfire Service respond to the Eagle Ridge Fire in West Vancouver. The fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. Friday. The photo was tweeted by the West Vancouver Fire Department. Photo via Twitter/@WestVanFireDept /.jpg

Initial reports that the fire was threatening nearby homes turned out to be unsubstantiated.

“It took us a while to actually determine the location,” Powers said, but once helicopters surveyed from the air, it showed the flames weren’t endangering any neighborhoods.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

“It’s a very large plume of smoke, so that makes it look closer than it is,” Powers said. “But it’s in a fairly remote area, so that’s a blessing.”

Ground crews were expected to continue attacking until sunset, and personnel plan to remain on site overnight to monitor surges, Powers said. Helicopters will be called at first light if this occurs.

Drought prolongs wildfire season

The Forest Fire Service notes that it’s not uncommon for the fire season to extend into October, but “what’s unusual for the time of year are the widespread dry conditions that we are facing and the number of new forest fires per week”.

The BC Wildfire website shows 63 new fires since Oct. 7, including nine since Wednesday. This is about five times the average for this time of year, and this trend is expected to continue as long as the drought persists.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

Conditions in the Lower Mainland remain extremely dry, with less than 20 millimeters of rain in the region since early July. Twenty-one communities in British Columbia have set temperature records, some dating back more than 100 years.

In terms of area burned, the fire season was actually less destructive than average. Just under 1,200 square kilometers have burned in the province since April 1, less than half the 20-year average. The area burned as of mid-October in 2021 was 8,600 km2, more than seven times this year’s toll.

But the threat remains high to extreme and open burning restrictions remain in place on the south coast.

— With a file by Cheryl Chan, The Canadian Press


More news, fewer ads, faster loading times: Get unlimited, lightweight access to the Vancouver Sun, Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites for just $14/month or $140/year. Subscribe now through the Vancouver Sun or The Province.

Advertisement 1

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.