While its pace of growth is on the decline, the blaze sparked Saturday in Minnekhada Regional Park is not yet fully-contained.
The Metro Vancouver Regional District (MVRD) said Monday an aerial assessment of the Coquitlam, B.C. wildfire detected “minimal overnight growth.” Its flames are “spotty” over an area of about 12 hectares that has been described as “extremely deep and challenging” terrain.
Ground and aerial crews were dispatched to douse the blaze again on Monday. Five helicopters are dumping “thousands of gallons of water hourly” on the hot spots, sourced from the Pitt River.
“With continued dry weather in the forecast, the firefighting effort is expected to be a multi-day operation,” Brant Arnold-Smith, director of the MVRD’s emergency operations centre, told Global News.
Between MVRD and the BC Wildfire Service, Arnold-Smith said there are more than 54 “boots on the ground,” supported by other emergency management personnel.
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The crew’s incident command post is at the historic Minnekhada Lodge, which is “not at risk,” he added. Minnekhada Regional Park has been closed to the public since Saturday.
“As far as terrain and damage to the park — this is a ground fire, it has not actively been burning in the canopy and at higher levels of the trees so we’re not seeing any of the candling at the top of the trees, which is good,” Arnold-Smith explained.
While the MRVD has said there is no risk to the public from the fire, the BC Wildfire Service website still lists the Minnekhada blaze as “out of control,” with human activity as the suspected cause.
There are about 177 wildfires burning across the province, but no wildfires “of note” that pose a potential threat to safety.
Arnold-Smith said B.C. has experienced a “prolonged dry season” with warm weather and the forecast is calling for more. He urged the public to be “extra vigilant” when disposing of any materials that may be flammable.