Images of smoke rising from the forest canopy taken at approximately 5 p.m. Facebook photo.

Images of smoke rising from the forest canopy taken at approximately 5 p.m. Facebook photo.

Wildfire up 100-foot cliff near Mission doused by quick-climbing firefighters

North Fraser Fire Department crew had to scale steep incline with fire hoses

North Fraser firefighters extinguished a quick-moving wildfire up the side of a mountain just east of Mission on Monday evening, July 25.

All three fire halls, approximately 22 firefighters, were called to the 10900 block of Stave Lake Road just after 4 p.m., said Fire Chief Steve Howell. A ground crew and helicopter were also called in from Coastal Wildfire Service.

Local members arrived to find an approximately 100 square-foot area burning, located on top of an isolated location called Climbing Rock – an “almost vertical” 100-foot incline that’s difficult to access, Howell said.

“It did have the potential to go north into the Mission area, so if our crews didn’t stop it, it could have gone a long way,” he said. “It was more brush and moss that was burning, but flames were probably two-feet, three-feet high in places.”

He said a crew scaled the mountain with fire hoses on them, tied them off and threw them over the ledge to the fire trucks in order to pump water up.

When the firefighters first arrived, there was no wind, but within 30 minutes it picked up to around 15 kilometres an hour, Howell said.

“That’s when we started getting into trouble,” he said, noting it grew to approximately 200-square at its height.

Photos posted to social media of the blaze, taken around at 5 p.m., show a significant amount of smoke wafting from the forest canopy.

Stave Lake Road from Dale and Farms roads were shut down for approximately two hours while the fire was brought under control. The event was closed by 7:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Howell said.

SEE ALSO: Attempted arson in woods near Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@missioncityrecord.com

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