A firefighter who fought a quickly growing wildfire in Manning Park Sunday is calling it a ‘near miss’, adding it was a full response by four organization and lucky conditions with little wind that brought the blaze under control.
At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, a camper reported seeing smoke from a forest fire on a hill above Coldspring Campground on Highway 3 in Manning Park. The fire quickly grew to 20 square metres, it was “aggressively burning, and going up the trees” stated Manning Park Resort supervisor Andy Boulé.
BC Parks rangers and the East Gate Fire Department joined Manning Park Resort staff to fight the blaze. They were assisted by the BC Wildfire Service, who provided a tanker truck carrying over 13,000 litres of water to the scene. Wildfire fighters later joined the response.
Crews fought the fire until midnight Sunday, and BC Wildfire followed up to make sure the fire did not reignite.
At the time, the resort and all campsites were full for the long weekend with approximately 400 guests and all 355 campsites occupied.
The cause of the fire hasn’t yet been determined. Manning Park Resort general manager Vern Schram, who also fought the fire Sunday, said it was likely human-caused.
“We are speculating from some recent garbage in the area of the fire, including an empty pack of cigarettes, that this was not caused by mother nature,” he stated in a news release.
Luck was on the side of the firefighters as there was little wind and many people responding, but Schram stressed the fire is a “near miss” and emphasized the need for caution during summer months.
Sunday’s fire comes just under a week after another small but quickly growing wildfire sparked along Highway 3 just south of the Hope Slide in Sunshine Valley.
Sunshine Valley fire chief Chris Terry echoed many of the same sentiments as Schram after the July 30 fire. He told The Hope Standard luck was on the side of the firefighters as the response was swift, with 16 firefighters attending, and there was very little wind.
Terry said the fire “could have been a lot worse”: if conditions hadn’t been in their favour, the fire could have burned an entire village in Sunshine Valley to the ground.
– With files from Andrea DeMeer
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