A fire that started last week in the Whyte Lake area of West Vancouver is 100 per cent contained but the terrain is still so dangerous that crews haven’t been able assess the damage. Trails in the area remain closed until further notice as there are still hot spots, hazardous trees and loose terrain.
West Vancouver Fire and Rescue has taken over the scene after initially working with Metro Vancouver and other crews from the North Shore. Fire Chief Randy Heath said the department is in the patrol stage, watching for hot spots and deep-seated heat in the ground.
“It’s a real slow process of watching and using our senses of smell and sight,” Heath said.
If any smouldering is spotted, crews are going in and putting it out immediately, he added.
The fire grew to three hectares in size, prompting the closure of the Baden Powell Trail and the Black Mountain Trail. The trails will remain closed until further notice and the public is asked to stay out of the area.
Last week, assistant fire chief Jeff Bush said the fire looked like it was human caused, but added he didn’t think an exact cause would be found.
Heath praised the joint effort by the three North Shore firefighting crews as well as Metro Vancouver fire fighters in battling the Horseshoe Bay fire.
In the meantime, the wildfires from the Pacific Northwest area have prompted an air-quality advisory from Metro Vancouver because of airborne particulate matter.
According to the advisory, the concentration of smoke can vary across the region depending on winds, temperature and how the fires develop.
Anyone with chronic medical conditions are being advised to postpone strenuous exercise. This is especially important for infants and the elderly or anyone with diabetes or lung or heart diseases, according to the health advisory.
For those with medical conditions, it’s advised to stay indoors and use an air conditioner and run an air cleaner. It’s also advised to stay cool and avoid roads with heavy traffic.
If anyone sees smoke, flames or an open fire violation, they should call BC Wildfire Service at 1-800-663-555 or dial *5555 from their mobile device.