The Crofton fire department was called out to Maple Mountain after an excavator caught fire on Wednesday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

All wood harvesting stopped in hot, dry North Cowichan forest reserve

Statement said the decision has nothing to do with the excavator fire on Maple Mountain on July 24

Given the current hot and dry conditions, North Cowichan is shutting down all wood harvesting activities in its municipal forest reserve at the end of the day today (Friday, July 26).

A statement from the municipality said North Cowichan has been monitoring the fire hazard ratings and weather conditions diligently during the blowdown salvage activities in the forest reserve and made the decision to stop operations on July 25.

The halt in operations will continue until the fall, with the exception of some trucking of roadside wood next week.

RELATED: Slow start to B.C. wildfire season saves province money

The statement said the decision has nothing to do with the excavator fire on Maple Mountain on July 24 that saw volunteer firefighters from Crofton and Maple Bay halls racing to the mountain around noon.

Crews were met at the gate at the bottom of Maple Mountain Park Road and guided up the M100 trail and then left onto a bumpy side trail to find a fully involved excavator fire.

The flames had spread into nearby foliage.

RELATED: Firefighters putting out hotspots at suspected human-caused wildfire near Sayward

It was a tricky situation for firefighters to juggle their water tenders on the narrow trails but they quickly got foam and water onto the flames.

The statement said the fire was completely extinguished within 30 minutes, and the excavator, which was cleaning up blowdown and debris along the roadside on the mountain, is being monitored to ensure there are no further flare ups.

The fire is still under investigation.

“The decision to halt operations was not due to this equipment fire,” the statement said.

“Although it is generally uncommon, events such as this do occur from time to time, and contractors are required to have fire suppression equipment on site to contain any fires until the fire department arrives, which occurred yesterday.”

Maple Mountain was the site of a major forest fire in August 2018. Seven fire departments and the BC Wildfire Service battled the 2018 blaze, and residents of the area were put on evacuation alert for three days.

Just Posted

VIU graphic design students propose less wasteful packaging in new exhibition

‘Unwrapped’ show is on display at the school’s View Gallery until Dec. 1

Trekking Vancouver Island’s ‘Secret Coast’

Island pair paddle the most remote corner of our coastline to collect and share its story

EDITORIAL: Islanders need to step up our recycling efforts

As much as 60 per cent of items taken to landfill could be recycled

T.W. Paterson column; ‘We are looking for the hangman, me dear’, part 3

Sally stayed with the canoe as lookout as Quomlet and Johnny disappeared into a copse of trees

Four generations of Vancouver Island logging and mining stories in one show

Nanaimo’s John Gogo will share regional stories, family history and song in his latest project

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read