DELTA (NEWS 1130) – Provincial fire crews are helping to fight a fire burning in a conservation area in Delta.
The fire at Burns Bog is an estimated 55 to 70 hectares in size. It started around 11:40 a.m. on Sunday, just west of 80th Street, east of Highway 17.
Related article – PHOTOS: Burns Bog fire
At least five aircraft were deployed, in addition to the crews fighting the fire on the ground. Teams from Squamish and Hope have also joined the firefighting efforts. About 100 firefighters in total were battling the blaze on Sunday.
“We have an incident command post set up on site. Our structural firefighters are maintaining a perimeter, protecting the industrial area of Tilbury,” says Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland.
One Delta firefighter has been taken to hospital due to a medical condition aggravated by the smoky conditions.
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson notes there has already been a rollover crash, emphasizing how important it is that there aren’t any other problems besides the fire. “We’re throwing everything we’ve got at this fire to try and get it out as soon as we can. Obviously, it’s a very tricky fire to fight. One thing I would really like to ask the public is please keep away from this area.”
We are expecting an update on the fire from Jackson at 8 a.m. Monday.
An evacuation order remains in place in the Tilbury Industrial Area for businesses on Progress Way between 76th and 80th Streets. There is no access to those businesses until further notice.
Smoke can be seen and smelled throughout Metro Vancouver, but we have not received word of an official air quality advisory.
Dan called NEWS 1130 handsfree as he was heading into Vancouver from the south Monday morning. “Coming across the Arthur Laing Bridge, you can see a smoky haze all across the south end of the city… hanging over the homes, looking out to UBC and also looking to the east towards the Knight Street Bridge — you can definitely see a smoke layer there.”
“Cooler air could help out a little bit,” says NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate. “We’ve experienced some blustery conditions overnight and the wind may be gusty at times again during the day. As far as rainfall totals go, it’s minimal for the Monday forecast — a brief passing shower later this morning and a couple of additional showers for the afternoon, but nothing more than that.”
“But Mother Nature will help out with the fire situation overnight and early Tuesday. Some heavier showers are expected to be here for the first half of the day tomorrow,” he adds.
A section of Highway 17 from Highway 99 to Nordel Way/Highway 91 Connector has been closed.
It’s unclear how the fire started, but lightning has been ruled out as as cause.
Donna MacPherson with the Coastal Fire Centre says the BC Wildfire Service was called Sunday afternoon to assist local firefighters. “It’s a very difficult fire to deal with. Peat is typically something that takes quite a while to put the fire out. So we anticipate we will be helping out the fire department for a few days.”
The Corporation of Delta expects it will be at least a week before the fire is completely put out.