Musgrave brush fire prompts fast action from fire department

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Salt Spring fire crews battled an 8,000-square-foot brush fire on the south end of the island Tuesday afternoon.

Crews were called out at 3:26 p.m. to a fire located about two kilometres up the gravel portion of Musgrave Road. When they arrived on scene at around 4 p.m., the fire was beginning to burn into the bark of the trees, but the lack of underbrush prevented it from growing too much.

“It was kind of a more thick treed area. There weren’t many low branches or underbrush, which helps us as far as lack of fire growth is concerned,” said Salt Spring Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Holmes.

Twenty-two members responded to the fire, and 18 stayed on scene. The other four returned to Ganges to remain on standby. The crew shuttled water from the Fulford fire hall to help fight the blaze. Three water tenders, two mini pumpers, the forestry trailer and command unit were on scene. BC Forestry Service was advised to be on standby, but was not needed.

“I would say we had containment of the area by about 5:30,” Holmes said. “Then what we do is we ring the fire and we work from the outside in. We look at hotspots and make sure that it’s not going to flare up again.”

No structures were threatened by the fire. Neighbourhood PODs for Isabella, Musgrave and Mount Tuam were notified, but no evacuations were needed.

The fire was extinguished by 7 p.m. Crews returned later Tuesday evening to check for flare ups, and again on Wednesday.

“It was good that it was close to the side of the road and that it was reported quickly. We could have had much bigger fire growth if it had gotten started before anyone really got a chance to report it,” Holmes said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but no obvious signs of camping or smoking material were found.

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