A wildfire is burning out of control near Gold River, according to the Coastal Fire Centre.
The fire is small, only 4.5 hectares, but steep slopes and a field of fallen timber is making it difficult for crews to gain a foothold on the fire. The cause is under investigation, but the centre has confirmed that it was caused by human activity.
“It’s in something called felled and bucked timber. That’s timber that’s been cut, and they’re in the process of taking the limbs and whatnot off the trees,” said Donna MacPherson, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre. “Our crews responded to the fire yesterday (April 19) afternoon and they overnight-ed on the fire as well. They camped out over night. Today they’ve go six fire fighters and two helicopters working on the fire. The fire was relatively quiet overnight, so it’s affording the crews a really good opportunity to work on the fire first thing this morning.”
“That particular fire also is in an area of really steep slopes with rolling debris which will impact where the crews can safely work on the fire,” she added. “I would say that this fire is probably going to take a bit of time before it gets off of our maps. It’s going to be a slow fire.”
Due to the dry weather, any dead material on the forest floor is particularly susceptible to fire. However, the weather is expected to turn to more seasonal averages, which will include more rain that should help with the crews on scene.
“We didn’t go into this fire season with a drought, which is good news. Anything with roots can get lots of moisture. Those are the big trees and the large shrubs, they’re in a pretty good state right now. The things that don’t have roots on them, like the dead material on the surface, slash, it can’t re-hydrate from the ground,” MacPherson said. “That’s been our concern for the last little while. It looks like we’re going to get a break in the weather around Thursday this week, and we should start to get back into our normal spring showers, which will help things a great deal.”
The Coastal Fire Centre does not currently have any restrictions in place, but are reminding people to be careful and to check with their local authorities about burning restrictions that may supersede those of the centre.
“We’re in a dry period, so until the rains come we need people to be extra careful,” MacPherson said. “It may surprise them.”