Crews working to douse a brush fire that broke out last week near Porteau Cove had shifted into “patrol” mode by Monday (Sept. 10). That’s the last phase of the firefighting process before declaring the fire out.
A total of 26 firefighters and two helicopters initially were called in to battle the fire that broke out early Wednesday (Sept. 5) on a steep slope about 100 metres north of the cove, forcing the temporary closure of the CN Rail line. Highway 99 remained open to traffic.
By Thursday (Sept. 6), a 20-person unit crew was on the scene doing “cold trailing” — combing the site looking for ground that might still be hot and smoking and turning over the soil on those sections of terrain, said Marg Drysdale, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre.
The CN Rail line that was temporarily closed because of the fire was re-opened late Wednesday, Drysdale said.
“Once it looks like [the fire] is completely mopped up, they’ll put it into patrol, where they’ll return several times and do some more cold trailing,” she said.
At no time was the fire a threat to homes or campsites despite its proximity to Porteau Cove Provincial Park, Drysdale said. It’s believed that the fire started on Wednesday at around 3 a.m. and that it was human-caused. The precise cause is still under investigation, she said.
Meanwhile, District of Squamish officials last week issued an advisory in response to the extreme fire hazard rating in the area. Despite the rain on Monday, fires are restricted to private property and supervised campsites. Fires may be no greater than .5 metres high and wide and under constant supervision, with a water source readily available.
To see the advisory, visit www.squamish.ca. Separate restrictions may apply in B.C. Parks and on Ministry of Forests land. For more information, contact Squamish Fire Rescue at (604) 898-9666.