Saanich firefighters assist in blaze near Durrance Lake

Team effort by Saanich, Central Saanich and Department of National Defence to knock down flames

A forest fire near the border of Saanich and Central Saanich saw three separate fire crews work together to knock down the Saturday morning blaze.

Around 7 a.m., the Saanich Fire Department responded to a fire near Durrance Lake, heading up Willis Point Road while watching smoke in the distance.

“The call came in from an overhead commercial aircraft,” said Deputy Fire Chief Steve Hanna. “I think it was a WestJet flight that was flying overhead, saw smoke and called it in.

“It was right on the edge of Heals Range, which is a Department of National Defence property.”

Hanna said firefighters had difficulty getting access to the fire for their trucks, so they called the DND, who sent military police to help them get closer to the flames.

“Durrance Road is a rural road and it’s hard to get through, and there’s a gate across it for safety reasons when people are shooting on the range,” said Hanna. “We didn’t have access to that gate, but with the permission of the DND, break through the gate and get access close to the fire.”

Adding to the challenging blaze was the fact that there are no fire hydrants in the area. Hanna said firefighters set up a tanker shuttle operation to get water to the fire, which was about 200 by 200 feet at its largest.

“We had our tanker, we called in Central Saanich for assistance with their tanker, DND sent their tanker out, so we had three tanker trucks shuttling water back and forth,” he said, noting B.C. forest firefighters also assisted.

Saanich fire stayed on scene until about 11:30 a.m., after which the DND’s fire crew remained at the site into the evening. While the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, Hanna said the area may have been used as a campsite prior to the blaze.

“It was very deep seated fire and my suspicion is it was not intentionally set, but there might’ve been some people camping there,” he said. “We were lucky because while it was a warm day, it wasn’t a windy day, so it spread slowly.”

Fire crews are reminding residents to be mindful when in forested areas, especially in the summer when it’s dry.

“If you’re going to smoke, be very careful of how you dispose of your butts,” said Hanna. “People have to be aware, and if they see anything that looks like a fire, be sure to phone it in.”

Hanna also commended the teamwork of the Central Saanich and DND firefighters in getting the fire under control.

“Working together with three different agencies on one fire, we worked seamlessly,” he said. “If it wasn’t for each of us, we probably wouldn’t have had a successful outcome. It was a good joining of resources.”

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read