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Blasting sets off blaze
On the morning of Thursday, August 22, Sooke Fire Rescue Service averted a possibly disastrous fire outbreak in Sooke.
At around 10:30 a.m., the Sooke Fire Rescue Service — along with their counterpart service providers from East Sooke, Otter Point and Shirley — snuffed out the flames that scattered above the residential area at Maple Park Terrace, just up the hill on Grant Road. The fire was also attended by the Ministry of Forestry, who were available in case air support was required.
“We’re very fortunate there was no wind,” said Sooke Fire Chief Steve Sorensen. “Otherwise, it would have been a major fire.”
The fire was doused in 90 minutes, though they remained on site to monitor for hot spots.
The start of the fire was in all likelihood connected to the blasting that was happening on site, said Sorensen.
The company doing the blasting was Tri-X Excavating Limited. Sorensen said their permit did allow for blasting, and they were limited to provincial restrictions. Sorensen said they were looking into provincial restrictions to see what the limitations were in relation to fire hazard ratings.
On August 21, Facebook’s Otter Point bulletin board send out a notice that the fire hazard rating “in Otter Point Fire District has climbed back up to ‘EXTREME’ level today.” By the following day, the southern tip of Vancouver Island was rated “Extreme” according to the BCWildFire.ca website.
Julie Terkuile, a resident of the Maple Park Terrace said the developers “sounded the horns, blasted one minute later,” and a few minutes after that she heard the sirens from the fire trucks.
A video of the fire provided by Terkuile is available on the Sooke News Mirror’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SookeNewsMirror.