British Columbia

UBC forest fire almost out

Firefighters have almost completely doused a small forest fire that broke out near UBC's Wreck Beach, just west of Vancouver, on Tuesday night.

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  • The fire is not threatening any buildings or homes
  • No evacuation orders issued

Firefighters have almost completely doused a small forest fire that broke out near UBC's Wreck Beach, just west of Vancouver, on Tuesday night.

About 40 firefighters fought the fire overnight, but it proved difficult to get under control because it was burning in a gully on a steep slope in an area without any trails or roads.

On Wednesday morning the fire was estimated to be about ¾ of a hectare in size, but it was not expanding quickly or threatening any homes or building, fire officials said.

Around 6:30 a.m. PT a team of tree fallers and forest fire specialists arrived to help fight the fire. A helicopter was called in to help fight the fire and the coast guard hovercraft was monitoring it from the water below the cliffs.

Fire officials said they had the fire 50 per cent under control by around 10 a.m. and they expected to be on the site all day  putting out the remaining flames. By 4:30 p.m. officials said the fire was almost completely out and firefighters had left the scene.

Officials said Metro Vancouver parks staff would be patrolling the area Wednesday night looking for spot fires and flare-ups.

They said the fire started inside a large tree near Wreck Beach and spread from there to the surrounding forest. There was no word on the cause of the fire.

Southwest Marine Drive was closed to traffic between 16th Avenue and Totem Park for much of the day while firefighters worked to control the blaze, but the road was reopened Wednesday evening.

The main area of Wreck Beach was also reopened by 4:30 p.m.

Fire officials say no evacuation orders have been issued, but said earlier if the smoke builds and the wind shifts they may issue a voluntary evacuation advisory for people with respiratory issues in nearby buildings.

The fire danger rating for the area is rated high because of a long stretch of hot dry weather in recent weeks.

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