Cause of Sunday beach fire under investigation

The cause of a Sept. 13 beach fire in Wilson Creek remains under investigation while officials from the Sechelt Fire Department try to determine exactly where it started.

The fire, which was reported around 10:45 a.m., burned through about 800 sq. metres (8,600 sq. feet) of logs on the beach just east of Port Stalashen.

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Sechelt Fire Chief Trevor Pike said the flames also jumped from the beach to some old creosote-covered pilings in the area of a former log sort.

Pike said the biggest challenge for firefighters was getting their equipment to the scene because there’s no direct road to that part of the waterfront and no easily accessible fire hydrants nearby.

“We had to pack portable pumps and equipment about 1,500 feet down to the beach and draw water out of the ocean,” Pike told Coast Reporter.

No homes were at risk, but Pike said the fire could have moved into nearby brush and started to spread if it hadn’t been brought under control quickly.

Twenty-two Sechelt firefighters responded to the call with six trucks and the Roberts Creek Fire Department was put on standby under the mutual aid agreement to handle any calls that came in while the Sechelt department was dealing with the fire.

Pike said fire investigators believe the fire started in the logs near the tide line and moved upward, but because of the wide area burned they have not yet determined the starting point of the fire, which will help pinpoint the cause.

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