Fairy Creek. (Roger Wiles photo)

Fairy Creek. (Roger Wiles photo)

Exploding bear spray leads to chemical burns at Fairy Creek

Five people, including children, injured and treated at the scene

Five people, including children, sustained chemical burns from exploding bear spray at Fairy Creek on Nov. 9.

Late that afternoon, police were made aware that one person had received chemical burns to their face from a cooking stove incident and that others were suffering from breathing issues.

The BC Ambulance Service was called and, according to a BC RCMP press release, paramedics learned that “a canister of bear spray had overheated, [and] exploded inside a bus which then caught on fire.”

Five people, including children, were treated at the scene.

It was the second serious incident of the day, as hours before three officers were injured after a logging truck lost its load at the 22km mark of Pacific Marine Road.

SEE RELATED: 3 RCMP officers sent to hospital after logs topple onto cruisers

Police have been in the remote Fairy Creek area of southwest Vancouver Island trying to keep the “Granite Mainline Forest Service Road and other corridors free from any obstructions, devices and open for industry access,” according to the B.C. RCMP’s release. “Active and enhanced patrols of the corridor will continue to ensure the roads remain clear of obstructions, as well as the road checks for motor vehicle infractions in the area.”

No arrests were made Nov. 5 through Nov. 7, but six were taken into custody on Nov. 8 for contempt of court after police had to remove two separate groups of three people who had locked themselves to either an obstacle or to another person in order to block the road. All six were later released on conditions.

Two more protesters were arrested on Nov. 10, also for contempt of court.

To date the RCMP have arrested 1,168 people; 110 of whom were previously arrested with a combined total of 261 times. Of those arrested, 905 were for breaching the injunction (contempt of court), 221 were for obstruction, 21 were for mischief, 10 were for breaching their release conditions, eight were for assaulting a police officer, one for counselling to resist arrest, one for causing a disturbance, and one under the Immigration Act.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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Fairy Creek watershed