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  • 2023-08 Fire at Village Bay Lake

    Rochelle Baker

    Crews work through the night to dampen out-of-control Quadra Island wildfire



    Forest fire near Village Bay Lake on August 17 (photo by BC Wildfire Service)


    BC WILDFIRE SERVICE’s specialized attack crews worked through the night to tame an out-of-control wildfire that broke out in a populated area of Quadra Island Thursday afternoon.

    Three first-response attack crews, a helicopter and two tree-fallers continue to fight the blaze east of Village Bay Lake near Bold Point Road and it has shrunk from four hectares to 1.5 hectares in size, BC Wildfire Service information officer Sam Bellion told Canada’s National Observer early Friday.

    The wildfire service’s latest alert at 11 a.m. said the fire is being held. It broke out in the island’s Village Bay Lake area, a popular summer destination with numerous recreational properties and homes.

    Rapid attack crews, an air tanker dropping fire retardant and two helicopters with water buckets were initially dispatched when the fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

    “They did great work last night,” Bellion said. “They dropped a lot of retardant on the eastern flank of the fire, and worked through the night on the western flank to get that down.”

    Friday morning, crews reported the western flank of the blaze was limited to a creeping, smoldering ground fire, she said.

    Firefighters will now focus on the southern edge of the blaze.

    “They’re not expecting any significant growth there,” Bellion said.

    “So, today, they’re just going to be working for containment and doing what they can.”


    Islanders work to quench fire

    Residents from Village Bay Lake and Bold Point were reportedly first on the scene to quench the blaze with hoses and pump equipment before being rapidly replaced by professional wildfire service crews and seven members of the Quadra Island Volunteer Fire Department who worked until nightfall.

    No structures have been officially reported as lost or damaged and no evacuations took place, Bellion said.

    The fire is deemed as human-caused, but any specifics won’t be known until a full investigation takes place after the blaze is out, she added. Reports on Quadra’s social media sites suggested at least part of the fire was caused by a tree breaking a hydro line after falling in heavy wind.

    The Quadra Island Volunteer Fire Department appealed to people to stay clear of the area.

    A fire advisory remains in place and the BC Wildfire Service and Quadra Island Volunteer Fire Department are reminding people to follow the directions of local authorities.

    The best source of updates is the BC Wildfire Service app or its website. Or people can sign up or check for alerts at alertable.

    Rochelle Baker / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

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