Firefighters say a wildfire that swept through a forested area near Deep Cove on Wednesday night was almost certainly human caused.
Fire investigators were unable to determine the exact cause of the fire, due to extensive damage in the area, but narrowed down the area where it started to a rocky viewpoint over Indian Arm frequently visited by hikers.
“Residents indicate individuals use that area on a fairly regular basis,” said Fire Chief Brian Hutchinson of District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.
Nobody was seen in the area immediately prior to the wildfire starting, but Hutchinson said it’s possible an unextinguished cigarette or campfire was smouldering undetected for some time before that.
Firefighters spent several tense hours battling the wildfire on the night of Sept. 9 after receiving numerous reports of a forest fire burning just past the community of Woodlands, off Indian Arm, around 8 p.m,. said Hutchinson.
Fire crews arrived on the scene to find about a hectare and a half of bush on fire in steep terrain. An aggressive fire was burning through bush and shrubs and “occasionally an entire tree would light up on fire,” said Hutchinson.
There were several homes in close proximity to the fire, but firefighters determined it wasn’t necessary to evacuate.
About 25 firefighters were brought in with five fire engines to fight the blaze.
The Vancouver fire boat was also called in to help fight the fire from the water.
Fire crews from the B.C. Wildfire Service were also called in from Hope and Squamish to assist.
“They arrived late in the evening and stayed on site to monitor conditions.”
Fire hazard is currently high, said Hutchinson, and the fire is a good reminder for people to be careful. “In both West Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver, we have a significant wildland urban interface in our backyard. It’s part of the environment we live in.”