It took firefighters about 3.5 hours to contain a wildfire Sunday afternoon in Silverdale.
Crews were called to Keystone Avenue, between Townshipline Avenue and Clay Street, around 12:30 p.m. and found trees in the area on fire after falling on BC Hydro power lines.
“Without warning, the power line broke away from the insulator on the pole and fell to the ground intact,” explained Capt. Norm MacLeod, who was the incident commander on scene. “Energy escaped from the line and started a rapidly growing fire in the forested area on the north side of Keystone.”
MacLeod estimates the fire was burning about 0.3 hectares and called in additional resources from all three Mission fire stations, Coastal Fire Centre, Mission’s forestry department, BC Hydro, RCMP, and BC Ambulance.
The power line and electrical current made it challenging for firefighters to attack the fire in the beginning.
“Fortunately, Coastal Fire Centre had helicopters available and close by, allowing us to contain the fire to the 0.3 hectares,” said MacLeod. “Other challenges were the steep terrain and access to the fire from the perimeter.”
Firefighters advanced on the fire after BC Hydro shut off the power. Crews stayed on scene until close to 6:30 p.m. to extinguish any hot spots.
Buildings in the area were not at risk, but trees in the area were damaged, said MacLeod.
The road was closed to traffic for the afternoon.
Investigators believe the cause of the fire was electrical.