Firefighters are back battling a ground fire north of Horseshoe Bay Monday morning as the blaze threatens to creep up a cliff face.
The fire ignited early Sunday morning off the Sea-to-Sky Highway near Strip Creek and stretched to three hectares. Emergency crews including 29 firefighters, five helicopters equipped with flame retardant and an air tanker topped up with ocean water worked to control the flames from spreading.
The retardant and ocean water lessened the fire’s intensity and allowed crews to close in as they moved rocks, cut trees and dug down to mineral soil to extinguish the blaze, explained B.C. Wildfire Service fire information officer Donna MacPherson.
“It’s going to be a slow haul,” MacPherson said. “Whatever you drop from the air into thick forest isn’t going to hit the ground in the volume that you need.”
Crews also need to be tactically positioned along the cliff because of the risk of rolling debris, she said.
Because of the distance from the highway and the lack of any light source firefighters were forced to suspend work overnight.
Three crew members on site found no growth in the blaze as the temperature dipped between Sunday night and Monday morning, according to MacPherson.
“The fire is fairly quiet this morning,” she said, explaining it’s mostly smoking ground at this point.
There is no threat to residents but the highway is restricted to two lanes, according to Metro Vancouver Regional District Emergency Services.