UPDATE: Firefighters have fire near Nanaimo Lakes under control

Crews cooling down hotspots of one-hectare fire in the forest southwest of the city

Firefighters have gained control of a one-hectare fire in the forest in the Nanaimo Lakes area.

Coastal Fire Centre crews have a hold on a human-caused fire southwest of Nanaimo in the area of Blackjack Forest Service Road.

“Right now the firefighters have control on it and they’re not seeing that it’s going to grow beyond that area,” said Donna MacPherson, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre.

A helicopter has left the scene as it is no longer needed, she said, but there are still 15 firefighters, an excavator and water tender at the location.

“They’ll be going through and cooling down hot spots and breaking apart the fuels, digging them up if they find anything,” MacPherson said. “There are some slash piles in the area, so that’s what the heavy equipment is doing, is pulling them apart so that they can get to the heat … They basically have to get it cold and they’re not cold yet.”

The initial report of the fire came in late Sunday night.

“Crews were on it last night, worked it till about 1 a.m. and then went home. They got it somewhat contained, they got water on it, then we had crews out here first thing this morning,” said Morgan Boghean, incident commander with the Coastal Fire Centre.

He said there are roads on either side of the fire allowing firefighters access.

“Crews are focusing on [the fire] not getting into other cut blocks in the areas, so we have crews working at both flanks working to contain it,” said Boghean on Monday morning.

“It was reported late last night and we responded last night, but we’re going back today … to work toward control on that fire…” said MacPherson on Monday morning. “We’ve got a lot of resources on it to work toward a good conclusion,” she said.

In a related story, a bush fire west of Extension Road on Sunday that reached 0.35 hectares is under control, said MacPherson. It is on private forestry land and industry is handling final mop-up of the fire, she said.

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