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Human caused wildfire under control in Sechelt

Volunteer firefighters responded to a wildfire on Sunday night of the long weekend

As the B.C. Day long weekend and a heatwave coincided, a wildfire was sparked near trails in Sechelt. As of Monday morning, the fire was under control. 

Late Sunday night, July 31, the Sechelt Volunteer Fire Department received reports around 10:10 p.m. of a small fire, but its exact location was unclear. In the dark, the volunteers went out to investigate and find an access to the flames, the incident commander, Matt Gilroy of the Sechelt Volunteer Fire Department, told Coast Reporter on Monday.

The fire was approximately 500 metres west of Salmon Drive and Neptune Road, and after exploring access points, the firefighters were able to get the firetruck through Binnacle Avenue and set up the hose line to take down the flames. 

At that point, the fire was “relatively large” at approximately 400 square metres, and burning on the edge of the trails at the BC Hydro and Fortis right-of-way. Five members of BC Wildfire joined the 15 volunteers at the scene. 

By the next morning, Aug. 1, B.C.’s wildfire map showed the estimated size of the fire was 0.02 hectares. The suspected caused was listed as “person”.

“I can't say exactly what caused it but I do feel comfortable calling it human caused,” Gilroy said, noting that they found open and unopen liquor in the area as well as cigarettes both by the fire and along the trails. 

Gilroy will check the area again later today, to make sure wind and humidity levels do not reignite the fire. 

Gilroy gave his thanks to the Sechelt Volunteer Fire Department and the BC Wildfire crew who lent a hand.

“I'd also like to thank Mother Nature for the relative humidity that we had last night. As I got there, I was a little worried that it was moving into the taller timber and was going to getting into the big trees,” Gilroy said. “Actually, the fire started dying down a bit on itself by the time we were actually able to get water on it. So, we got very lucky there with the relative humidity. If it had been drier and less humid this would have been far, far worse.”