Fire in Sooke hills park likely caused by campfire

Crews currently focus on hot spots

Photo by Paul Obersteller

Photo by Paul Obersteller

A campfire is likely the cause of a fire that ripped through a portion of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park over the weekend.

According to Mike MacIntyre, acting senior manager for Capital Regional District (CRD) regional parks, provincial and CRD fire crews responded to the fire near Veitch Creek near Mount McDonald on Saturday afternoon.

The fire was about a hectare in size. Crews battled the blaze on Saturday and were able to fully contain it on Sunday. As of Monday, crews are focusing on hot spots in the interior part of the fire and will monitor it over the next week to ensure nothing flares up.

MacIntyre said he’s pretty certain it was caused by a campfire. Camping is not permitted in the area.

“Whoever was having the fire up there, that was a dangerous thing to do,” MacIntyre said.

“It’s fairly dry out there in the forest right now and it’s getting drier with the heat wave coming and the winds. The forest is going to be more susceptible to fires, so people need to be really cognizant of that and not have campfires where they don’t belong and certainly be careful with things like cigarettes because it doesn’t take long for a fire to get up and going and it can have a fairly devastating effect.”

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Capital Regional District