Dog Mountain fire 90 per cent contained

Coastal Fire Centre says controlled burns were successful.

A controlled burn causes a flare up on Dog Mountain.

A controlled burn causes a flare up on Dog Mountain.

The Dog Mountain fire is 90 per cent contained, said B.C. Coastal Fire Centre fire information office Ellie Dupont.

“We have contained it now at 90 per cent,” said Dupont. “The two staged ignitions we did the last two days worked really well. We got the results we wanted.”

The controlled burns were meant to deprive the blaze of the fuel it needed to spread.

“They wanted to burn off all the understory and reach down from the fire to the shore.”

There were two areas the the Wildfire Service was most concerned about.

“The ithmus and then another area that bordered the shore where there were islands and cabins nearby. So they got those two spots.”

However, work on the fire will continue and the area is still dangerous.

“The slopes are still very unstable.

There are 31 firefighters on the blaze and CFC is calling in more experts.

“We’re hoping to have geomorphologists go in tomorrow. We’re hoping they can do an assessment on the slope stability so they can possibly get trees removed,” said Dupont. “A soil specialist will have to come in and make sure that the cabins will no longer be under threat from rolling debris.”

While many trees have been charred by the blaze, Dupont said that certain species should be able to recover from the fire.

“Certain species have different mortality rates. Coastal Douglas fir have a really good defense against fires versus other trees that have a thinner bark don’t. It’s the depth of the bark and the age of the tree.”

With the fire close to contained, there’s good news on the air quality front.

“The smoke should be about 20 per cent of what it used to be within a day or two,” said Dupont. “It of course depends on the winds.”

The Dog Mountain fire has been reduced to just hot spots now, Dupont said.

“If we get cooler temperatures and no wind it probably within a week should have all the hot spots extinguished,” she said, adding that this fire is no longer a priority if something else flares up in a different location.

“If we have crews in there putting out hot spots and there’s really no threat of forest fire anymore and something else comes up, say down the Inlet or somewhere, then we might pull them off. You have to prioritize constantly.”

Alberni Valley fire Chiefs are reminding residents that even with this fire mostly contained, the Valley remains at an extreme fire hazard rating. All open burning (including fireworks and campfires) is banned throughout the entire province. This ban includes the usually excluded fog zone. Be vigilant; a carelessly tossed cigarette or sparks from an ATV are enough to cause a new fire.

If you see a forest fire, call 1-800-663-5555 (*5555 on your cellphone).

For information on the wildfire situation, visit www.bcwildfire.ca. For air quality information, visit www.bcairquality.ca.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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