The Copper Canyon wildfire burned 32 hectares over 11 days. (BC Wildfire Service)

The Copper Canyon wildfire burned 32 hectares over 11 days. (BC Wildfire Service)

State of emergency and evacuation alert lifted for Copper Canyon wildfire

Fire deemed under control; burned 32 hectares over 11 days

The Copper Canyon wildfire has been declared “under control” by the BC Wildfire Service and a local state of emergency for the area and an evacuation alert have been rescinded by the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The BC Wildfire Service updated the status of the wildfire north of Duncan and west of Chemainus over the weekend of Aug. 14-15, indicating that the fire has received suffcient suppression action to ensure no further spread. Because of the change in status, the BC Wildfire Service recommended to the CVRD Regional Emergency Operation Centre that it lift the evacuation alert. The CVRD followed that recommendation and also opted to cancel the local state of emergency.

The latest actions mean that the CVRD REOC is essentially no longer involved with the fire, but the fire will be considered active for the BC Wildfire Service until its status is changed to “out,” indicating that the fire has been completely extinguished.

“The CVRD thanks the municipality of North Cowichan and Halalt First Nation for their partnership in this emergency response and recovery, and all the firefighting personnel whose actions on the ground prevented the fire from spreading over the last 11 days,” said Cowichan Valley Regional District Chair Aaron Stone. “This fire should serve as a reminder of the severity of our current drought on east Vancouver Island and the ease with which we could face a devastating situation similar to what’s happening in other parts of B.C. right now.”

The Copper Canyon wildfire started on Aug. 5 and has burned 32 hectares since then. One property was delivered an evacuation order, but residents were allowed to return to the property on Aug. 14.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 17, the Copper Canyon wildfire was the only fire on Vancouver Island being monitored by the BC Wildfire Service.

Related story: Aggressive firefighting tactics limit Copper Canyon fire to 32 hectares

B.C. Wildfires 2021