UPDATE: Evacuation alert continues for Maple Mountain fire; blaze contained, but still burning

Flames were visible as firefighters worked the blaze on Maple Mountain Wednesday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Flames were visible as firefighters worked the blaze on Maple Mountain Wednesday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Firefighters have mustered off Osborne Bay Road at Maple Mountain to fight a bush blaze. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

UPDATE 8 a.m.: Fire crews spent the night keeping watch over the blaze that began Wednesday afternoon on Maple Mountain just outside Crofton in the Cowichan Valley.

The Municipality of North Cowichan reported that at 3:15 a.m., crews successfully doused a 50 x 50 ft area that was burning again.

“This morning, crews from multiple fire departments are gathering to plan for the coming day,” the municipality said. “The continued hot, dry weather tends to encourage fire growth. The fire is contained but still burning and may continue to erupt for several more days.”

The request is continued for people to stay out of the area so fire crews can work.

The evacuation alert for Osborne Bay Road East from Herd Road to Tatlo Road West continues as those residences are closest to the wildfire.

“Please stay on the ready as heat and wind can make wildfires unpredictable,” the municipality said.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: Osborne Bay Road has reopened between Herd Road and Crofton, and residents who had left their homes for firefighting reasons have been allowed to return home, but a 30-minute evacuation alert remains in place as firefighters continue to battle a blaze that broke out Wednesday afternoon on Maple Mountain.

The Municipality of North Cowichan has advised that unless the fire grows in size again, there will be no new updates until 8 a.m. on Thursday (Aug. 9).

Residents of Osborne Bay Road between Tatlo Road West and Herd Road have been advised door-to-door by the RCMP to prepare for an evacuation order due to the forest fire on Maple Mountain.

“They have 30 minutes to evacuate if an order is given,” Cst. Pam Bolton explained. “There has not been an order given. If an order is given, we will go down and make direct contact with residents.”

The Municipality of North Cowichan is advising those on alert to pack prescriptions, water, clothing, pet supplies, cell phones and chargers.

Seven fire halls including Maple Bay, Crofton, Chemainus, Duncan, Sahtlam, North Cowichan’s South End hall and Cowichan Bay as well as the BC Wildfire Service have been called out battle the fire, which is believed to be human-caused. Ladysmith crews are standing by at the Chemainus fire hall while a crew from Mill Bay is stationed at the Duncan hall.

Initial reports from the scene were that there were spot fires and heavy smoke showing. Three helicopters have been brought in from the Coastal Fire Centre to help from the air, as well as three firefighters who are on the ground. Firefighting planes are also circling the blaze. The fire is about a hectare in size at this time.

Maple Mountain is in the North Cowichan Municipal Forest Reserve, and the municipality also brought in water trucks and a backhoe as well as firefighting equipment to deal with the flames. Trails in the area are closed.

“The fire is located approximately 1km east of the Municipal Forest Reserve parking lot on Osborne Bay Road,” North Cowichan spokesperson Natasha Horsman said. “Multiple fire departments and the BC Wildfire Service are responding. The public is asked to avoid the mountain and closed signs are being installed at Maple Mountain trailheads. Large-scale evacuation [is] not required at this time.”

New information from the Municipality is available at www.northcowichan.ca/FireEvent

For alerts from North Cowichan, sign up for e-alerts at www.northcowichan.ca/eAlert

RELATED: Helicopters arrive to help battle wildfire near Port Alberni

RELATED: Nanaimo Lakes wildfire growing, but crews gaining some containment

The Cowichan Exhibition has agreed to provide space for horses that need to be evacuated from the Maple Mountain area if necessary. For more information, contact the Ex office at 250-748-0882.

RELATED: No B.C. region left untouched with 462 wildfires burning

Maple Mountain is a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more.

More as it becomes available.

Just Posted

Saanich mayor begins living roof planting process

A garden will top Mayor Fred Haynes’ new home on Prospect Lake

Wet conditions put the brakes on Vancouver Islander’s speed record bid

Sooke car enthusiast Sean Driver heading back to Bonneville in October

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealand trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

CAMERON: Sometimes you’ve just got to do the right thing

Practical jokes and the art of being fast on your feet

T.W. Paterson column: McLean brothers’ murderous rampage ended quietly

“Shoot! you son of a ——-, shoot! I’m not afraid of an ounce of lead.”

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read