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Residents reminded to be vigilant after Saanich Park wildfire

Residents reminded to be vigilant after Saanich Park wildfire
Residents reminded to be vigilant after Saanich Park wildfire

Fire departments in Saanich and Central Saanich put their fire engines to the test after a column of smoke was spotted coming from Bear Hill on Tuesday.

Saanich firefighters were called to the east side of the Capital Regional District (CRD) park just before 5 p.m. on July 9, Deputy Fire Chief Craig Ford told Saanich News.

Saanich crews responded with a tender and truck, with support from Central Saanich with a crew and tender.

Firefighters located a 40-by-100-foot ground fire about 1,500 feet from the trailhead near Central Saanich Road. The fire was extinguished in about 90 minutes and the scene was turned over to CRD Parks, which manages the property.

While the cause is still under investigation, the fire in Bear Hill Regional Park was larger than the handful of small wildfires Saanich crews have tackled this year. They expect to see an increase.

June was wetter than normal, meaning the fire was more manageable, but summer is turning hotter and drier, with temperatures in the region exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in recent days.

“If this had happened last year, we would have had significantly different fire behavior,” Ford said.

The same goes for the weather forecast a month from now. Environment Canada predicts that it will not rain for days in the Hartland area of ​​Saanich.

Firefighters are asking residents to be careful and vigilant when reporting fires.

“Just because you see a column of smoke doesn’t mean it’s been reported,” Ford said.

Residents should “certainly report fires and be aware of how they manifest in our environment, especially in parks.”

Also on Tuesday, BC announced a provincial ban on campfires that will go into effect at noon on Friday, July 12.