Fire swept up the hillside in Skidegate Landing Friday afternoon (Sept. 15) after a campfire got away from a group of young people.
Queen Charlotte fire chief Larry Duke said the fire department got a call around 5:10 pm. The bush fire was creeping up the slope towards a house on the water side of the highway.
At least three young teenagers were involved. He says they tried to put out the fire, but they got scared and left the scene.
The fire department got the fire under control fairly quickly, but was called back around 11 pm when a rotten cedar tree rekindled.
The tree, which is perched on a cliff, was difficult to access, says Mr. Duke. The firefighters had to use saws to put holes in the tree and get a hose up inside. They also spent about three hours working with hand tools and digging up hot spots.
“Bush fires are tough,” he says.
All in all, 16 volunteer firefighters were at the scene, 10 from Queen Charlotte and six from Skidegate.
The dry weather and high winds were a factor in the fire spreading so fast and getting underground.
“This is a good reminder to everyone here who thinks we’re immune to bush fires,” he says.
Mr. Duke said some of the young people wrote letters to the fire department apologizing for the accident and offering do work around the fire department.
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