Sunday, June 16, 2024
June 16, 2024

Quick action quells Mount Maxwell fire

As “extreme” fire danger conditions persist, Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) responded Sunday to an illegal fire up Mount Maxwell Road that officials say could have been a lot worse.

Assistant Fire Chief Mitchell Sherrin said three firefighters and two apparatus were dispatched up toward the provincial park after a passing cyclist reported an unattended campfire still smouldering in a meadow off the road. The cyclist rode quickly back to his truck, Sherrin said, grabbed a water can and sprayed it on the fire, before racing to a nearby house to call the fire department.

In a stroke of luck, according to Sherrin, it was the home of Greg Bellavance, who took his bobcat machine to the location and began turning the earth in search of embers that could have restarted the fire. When SSIFR arrived, they doused the ground with additional water and thoroughly extinguished the fire.

“It was really fortunate for us to have Greg there and his machine,” said Sherrin. “And I want to commend that cyclist for acting quickly and notifying us.”

Sherrin said since the fire was on North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD) property, they were notified and inspected the site, roughly in the 1200 block of Mount Maxwell Road. Sherrin also implored the public to exercise extreme caution in the woods while the fire danger is so high.

“People need to be extra safe,” said Sherrin. “We probably have another week of this weather before any hope of moisture.”

As of Monday the forest fire danger rating is at extreme. Campfires are banned as part of the regulations.

The NSSWD has been vocal in recent years about asking people to not trespass on their Mount Maxwell watershed property, with concerns about fire damaging the watershed and the potential for degrading drinking water quality.

Sign up for our newsletter and stay informed

Receive news headlines every week with our free email newsletter.

Other stories you might like

Enforcement reprieve granted for ‘illegal’dwellings

Salt Spring officials have further reduced the island’s bylaw enforcement footprint, with local trustees setting the trigger for staff action on non-permitted dwellings at the...

Pitchfork Social concert series set to thrill

Pitchfork Social — the unique Salt Spring music series of world-class roots and Americana performers — is about to open its first full season...

Indigenous Peoples Weekend activities announced

Indigenous peoples and settlers of the Gulf Islands region are invited to come together next week to enjoy food, music and other arts and...

Salt Spring hosts Trust Council meeting

The Islands Trust marked 50 years since the proclamation of the Islands Trust Act on June 5 and will celebrate in person when trustees...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here