British Columbia

Burns Bog fire under control

Delta firefighters returned to Burns Bog at first light Wednesday to deal with the remains of the fire that burned about a hectare of the ecologically sensitive area of Greater Vancouver on Tuesday.

Delta firefighters returned to Burns Bog at first light Wednesday tobattle the remains ofafire that has burned about a hectare of the ecologically sensitive area of Greater Vancouver.

The smoke from the Burns Bog fire could be seen across the Lower Mainland on Tuesday. ((CBC))
More than three dozen firefighters battled the ground fire for hours into Tuesdayevening, finally pulling out of the peat bog at dusk because of safety concerns over the soft soil conditions.

"These guys are awesome. They did a stellar job. These guys worked their butts off, " said Delta fire Chief Dan Copeland of his crews.

On Tuesday, the firefightershiked about a kilometre into the bog, dragging their hoses with them. Theywere aided bya helicopter that dumped thousands of litres of water on the flames.

Officials said the firewas under control, but it would takeanother day or twoto extinguish it.

Delta firefighters had to drag their hoses a kilometre into the bog. ((CBC))
Copelandsaid it wasreduced to a smouldering ground fire, and sprinklers were set up overnight to prevent it from spreading.

The fire at one time wasthe size of two football fields, but it was only a fraction of the size of a blaze in 2005 that burned about 10 per cent of the bog.

That fire created a huge pall of smoke across Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, triggering a health advisory for people with breathing problems.

George Harvey, Delta's chief administrative officer, said officials weren't taking any chances with the latest fire.

"We'd rather have more resources at the beginning than [risk] second guessing ourselves later on."

The cause of the fire is not known, but officials believe they know where it started.

Burns Bog is the largest green belt in Greater Vancouver, covering about 4,000 hectares in suburban Delta. It is the largest such peat bog in North America.

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