Slash fires contained near Pigeon Lake landfill

Cumberland firefighters contained a few slash fires that broke out Sunday on Bevan Road by the landfill.

Cumberland firefighters contained a few slash fires that broke out Sunday on Bevan Road across from the Comox Valley waste management centre.

Early October, the Village fire department had ignited a number of burn piles, which had died out and went down but which always remain hot, fire chief Mike Williamson said. Around Sunday noon, winds of about 15 mph fanned the piles and started three hot spots. Crews extinguished two of the spots Sunday night but one “got away from us” and kept growing, said Williamson, who removed the crews when winds grew higher.

“This was an unusual dry spell,” he said. “With the high winds and dry spell, they just flared up. That’s unusual.”

The fires were under control Monday morning, at which time crews built perimeters around the 10-12 acre area.

The Courtenay Fire Department sent one tanker to assist Sunday night. The Coastal Fire Centre was also on site helping with assessment and supervision.

Another fire that broke out Sunday in an open block in the Cook Creek area spread over the Beaufort Range into Port Alberni.

The fire — on Island Timberlands private land — is about 20 or 30 hectares in size and 100 metres in elevation. It is under investigation.

“It’s not a resource burn,” said Donna MacPherson, fire information officer at the Coastal Fire Centre. “We’re not quite sure what occurred.”

The open block contains a fair amount of slash on the ground, but MacPherson said the fire has not moved into the forest.

“It provided a fair amount of smoke yesterday (Sunday). It’s one of those situations where we would like the slash to be gone. We did have other resource burns in the area that were fairly active yesterday but they all stayed within their burn plan.”

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