The Capital Regional District is warning residents sections of Thetis Lake Regional Park are closed due to a wildfire.
In a release published Saturday morning, the CRD said the park’s Main Beach and Seymour Hill areas are closed to the public. Other areas of the park remain open, however visitors are required to follow any directions given by park staff on site in order to support the safety of fire crews and visitors.
View Royal Fire Rescue Chief Paul Hurst told Black Press Media Saturday morning the fire was first discovered at the top of Seymour Hill around 1 a.m., but crews were unable to reach it until 6:30 a.m. as it would not have been safe to approach it at night. As of 9:30 a.m., nine View Royal firefighters, two Colwood, two Langford, and an initial attack team from the province are on scene.
He said the fire is sitting at around 1 hectare in size, and crews have been able to contain it and bring it under control using hand tools to dig a trench around it. Water is being drawn from the lake and crews are now working on extinguishing the blaze, a process Hurst said is expected to take several days due to the extent of the burnt vegetation.
Hurst said the weather has been very cooperative, and the combination of cooler temperatures, high humidity, and lack of wind overnight contributed greatly to the fire remaining a manageable size before crews could get on scene.
As the fire is quite a distance from the lake and there is equipment setup over a wide area, Hurst is asking residents to avoid the park where possible.
The fire will be investigated by both the province’s wildfire crews and View Royal Fire Rescue, but Hurst said it has already been determined to have been the result of human actions.
It comes days after a fire sparked near Fort Rodd Hill and the Esquimalt Lagoon, but was quickly brought under control by West Shore fire crews.