A helicopter examines the brush fire near the smoky forest Saturday near Point Holmes off Curtis Road.

Valley fire departments assist in Comox brush fire

A brush fire off Curtis Road in Comox Saturday afternoon has burned more than 0.5HA near Point Holmes, said the Coastal Fire Centre.

Comox Fire Rescue assistant chief Jim Lariviere the fire – which began around 1 p.m. – was under control around 4 p.m. A few flare-ups occured Sunday morning, but crews from Comox were able to extinguish them.

Comox Fire Rescue, along with mutual aid from Courtenay, Cumberland, Oyster River, Campbell River and 19 Wing fire departments attacked the fire from the ground, while two helicopters from the Coastal Fire Centre dropped water from above.

While it was the largest fire so far this year, Lariviere noted no structures were damaged outside of a few cracked windows. The fire came within 10 feet of a home, he added.

“It only works when all the resources come together. It was a true test of our mutual aid memorandum of understanding.”

“I came back from buying groceries,” explained Garry Fizzell, whose house neighbours the burning brush. “Flames were, 20, 30 feet in the air coming off a pile of brush in the back. The first fire truck had just got there, pumper was coming. A firefighter yelled ‘I’m outta water’ and everything started to happen really quick.”

“If the winds pick up, that fire could move a long way, real fast.”

Originally from Fort McMurray, Fizzell moved to Comox a few years ago.

“We dealt with the fire up there. It’s different there then it is here, in terms of access and moving around. I have a healthy fear for fire – no doubt about it.”

Leslie Yerex, who own a home on Curtis Road, said the area where the fire is burning is a popular spot on weekends.

“It’s where a lot of kids go, and they’ll pack their own firewood and beer and they party. I’m not sure if that’s what started this, but it kind of makes sense where the location is.”

Lariviere noted unless someones come forward, they may not be able to determine the cause of the fire.

Smoke from the fire could be seen along Lazo Road from Goose Spit to the Comox Airport.