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Burns Bog Fire Update - July 11, 10:30 am

Jul 03, 2016

Burns Bog Fire July 11, 10:30 am Update

Delta Fire has confirmed that the Burns Bog fire is now fully contained and no new areas of concern have been noted. As a result, Delta’s crews have demobilized from the bog. Apart from a small Metro Vancouver Parks patrol unit, BC Wildfire Services and Metro Vancouver Park crews have also demobilized and returned to their respective bases.

Delta Fire will liaise with Metro Vancouver Parks and coordinate an aerial scan with a thermal imaging camera this week to look for any areas of concern. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of all our partners. In particular, Mayor Jackson would like to acknowledge and thank the Province for their quick response, their Wildfire Services team, Metro Vancouver Parks, the cities of Richmond, Surrey and New West Fire Departments, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Mainroad Contracting, Fortis BC, BC Hydro, BC Ambulance Service, and the Salvation Army.

Additionally, a special thanks to all of our First Responders, Chief Administrative Officer George V. Harvie, the members of the Emergency Operations Centre and all Delta staff. Last, but not least, we would like to thank the members of the local media outlets for their dedicated coverage of the event. 

Further updates will be provided as needed.

Highway 17 Reopened, July 6, 1:30 pm Update

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure​ has reopened Highway 17 and restored traffic flow.

Burns Bog Fire July 6, 11:30 am Update

With the fire now 100% contained and a reduced level of smoke, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) made the decision at 10 am this morning to advise the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure that the closure of Highway 17 is no longer needed. 

After careful consideration, and in consultation with the Incident Command Centre, the BC Wildfire Services team, Metro Vancouver Parks, the Delta Police Chief, the Delta Fire Chief, the Chief Administrative Officer, Mayor Lois E. Jackson and Delta’s Engineering Department it was decided that the full closure of Highway 17 between Highway 99 and Nordel Way was no longer necessary to contain the Burns Bog fire.

“The decision to close any street or evacuate a business is never made lightly and we fully appreciate the impact on the traveling public and all those impacted. However, these strategic closures were key in the quick containment of the fire and ensuring that the fire did not impact Tilbury Industrial Park, any other critical infrastructure, and that all of our First Responders were able to do their jobs safely and efficiently”, said Mayor Lois E. Jackson. 

Situations like this have the real potential to grow quickly and become difficult to manage without full cooperation of all those involved. The quick response has allowed us to release the highway sooner than anticipated and contain the impact to 78 hectares of fire affected area.

Although the scale of the fire fight will be reduced, Delta Firefighters remain on scene along with the Province’s Wildfire Service team, and Metro Vancouver’s firefighters. For a brief look at the inside of the Burns Bog fire, as seen by Delta Firefighters, please visit the video link below:

At this time it is important to acknowledge the efforts of all our partners. In particular, Mayor Jackson would like to acknowledge and thank the Province for their quick response, their Wildfire Service team, Metro Vancouver Parks, the cities of Richmond, Surrey and New West Fire Departments, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Mainroad Contracting, Fortis BC, BC Hydro, BC Ambulance Service, and the Salvation Army. Additionally, a special thanks to all of our First Responders, the Chief Administrative Officer, the members of the Emergency Operations Centre and all Delta staff.

As previously committed, members of Metro Vancouver’s Scientific Advisory Panel have been contacted and we are trying to arrange a site visit and meeting as soon as possible. It is essential that experts and science guide us in recovery of Burns Bog. The Corporation of Delta is committed to continuing our role in the long term preservation and health of this natural wonder.

For more information on this news release, contact:
George V. Harvie, Chief Administrative Officer and EOC Director at 604-952-3542 or e-mail cao@delta.ca
Mayor’s Office at 604-946-3210 or e-mail mayor@delta.ca

Burns Bog Fire July 5, 11:30 am Update 

The Corporation of Delta Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was staffed overnight and was fully functional as of 8:00 this morning, and continues to operate. The latest GPS measurements show the affected area to be about 78 hectares. The fire continues to present as a low smoldering 1st level fire and we are happy to report that the fire is currently over 50% contained, with an objective to have it 100% contained by the end of the day.


BC Wildfire Services along with Metro Vancouver Parks continue to be present with almost 70 staff. Combined with Delta Fire forces there are approximately 80 firefighters on the scene with a continued focus to push the fire back.   

Along with continuing to battle the fire, we have started developing a transition plan with BC Wildfire Services staff and plans for complete extinguishment, long-term monitoring and clean up.

Delta Fire and Provincial investigators have started their work to determine the cause of the blaze. Structural engineers have also been brought to the scene to determine the structural integrity of the damaged radio towers. BC Hydro staff are also out ensuring the integrity of their infrastructure.

As of 8 pm last night, the Tilbury Industrial Park was fully opened and all road closures in the area are now lifted. Highway 17 remains closed between Highway 91 and Highway 99 and this is likely to last throughout the week.

We understand the inconvenience this may have caused, but safety of both the travelling public and our first responders is of the upmost priority. Without this ongoing closure we would have not made the steadfast progress and dedicated protection of private property that has been so successful to date. With a fire of this magnitude we are in large part susceptible to the whims of mother nature. With changing winds, fire flare ups and a fire that has already jumped the highway, the risk of opening the highway at this point is unacceptable.   

The light timing at the intersection of Highway 91 and 17 (the Tilbury Interchange) remains adjusted to assist with traffic flows. We appreciate the Ministry of Transportation’s prompt response on this request.

Metro Vancouver continues to monitor Air Quality on an ongoing basis. The latest update indicates that PM2.5 levels at all monitoring stations have remained low.  Although the Tsawwassen station has received periodic spikes in concentration they were short in duration.

We will continue update the public as this dynamic situation evolves.  

 
Burns Bog Fire July 4, 4:00 pm Update

The latest estimates show that the fire is approximately 78 hectares in size, with 40% of it being contained at the moment. The blaze has been categorized as a low smouldering 1st level fire with no new growth. It is also important to note that no fire retardants have reached any agricultural lands.

This type of low level fire has the potential to burn underground, but at this time we feel it has not yet penetrated the peat line. However, we are staying positive as the water mound is higher and the bog is in much better shape than during previous fires.

The evacuation of the Tilbury Industrial Area on Progress Way between 76 Street and 80 Street will be lifted at 8 pm tonight. Highway 17 remains closed between Highway 91 and Highway 99 and this is likely to last throughout the week. This is for the safety of our first responders and the public as this portion of the highway is a primary access point to fight the fire.

Delta staff have also worked with the Ministry of Transportation to adjust intersection light timing at Highways 91 and 17 (Tilbury Interchange) to allow for better movement of traffic.

Compared to yesterday, the visual smoke plume from the fire appears to be significantly reduced, but still very noticeable. Further Air Quality updates will be provided should the current situation change. The public can see current air quality data through Metro Vancouver’s AirMap: http://gis.metrovancouver.org/airmap  

Mayor Jackson would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has tirelessly aided us during this emergency situation, including the businesses who have been very cooperative and understanding during this process. Without them it would not have been possible to make the steadfast headway we have made to date.

Further updates will be posted on this page as required.

Photos of the Burns Bog fire: http://ow.ly/Gx2E301V3Qz

 

Burns Bog Fire July 4, 8:15 am Update

Delta staff have kept the Emergency Operations Centre open over night and it will continue to be fully functional until further notice.

At this moment, the Burns Bog fire appears to be 10% contained, however it does not appear to have grown over night. Our best estimates put the fire between 50-70 hectares in size.

Fire crews, totaling approximately 90 staff, will be tackling the fire today form both the north and south fronts. These efforts are designed to push the fire away from the Tilbury Industrial Area. Delta Fire has resumed normal operation of all their fire halls and are no longer receiving support from Surrey, New Westminster and Richmond. Firefighters from BC Wildfire Service and Metro Vancouver continue to assist and are concentrating their efforts on the fire within Burns Bog.

As of midnight last night, River Road and other roads in the Tilbury Industrial Area were reopened with the exception of Progress Way between 76 Street and 80 Street. Businesses in this area remain evacuated. Highway 17 remains closed between Highway 91 and Highway 99. This section of the highway is being used as an access route for the first responders and it is not anticipated to reopen today. The Fraser River is currently under normal operation and is open to marine traffic.

Smoke from the fire has been reported throughout the Metro Vancouver area. Conditions have improved, with some help from favourable weather conditions. Metro Vancouver is continuing to monitor the situation and is working closely with Delta and other agencies. The public can see current air quality data through Metro Vancouver’s AirMap: http://gis.metrovancouver.org/airmap 

Once the fire has been fully extinguished and the last of the emergency first responders have withdrawn from the area, we will be requesting a debrief with Metro Vancouver’s Burns Bog Scientific Advisory Panel. We strongly believe that the best thing for Burns Bog is a fact based scientific approach to its recovery. As stewards of the Bog and leaders in its preservation we will do whatever necessary to ensure the best opportunity for the Bog’s recovery.

Further updates will be provided via our social media channels and Delta.ca.

 

Burns Bog Fire July 3, 11 pm Update

Effective midnight tonight, the evacuation order in the Tilbury Industrial Area has been scaled down at the moment to the businesses on Progress Way between 76 to 80 Street. Access to these businesses will not be available until further notice. The evacuation order and road closures may change at any given time due to the unpredictable nature of the fire.

River Road will also reopen at that time. Highway 17 (SFPR) remains closed from Highway 99 to Nordel Way/Highway 91 connector.

Delta Fire crews will be on fire-watch during the night and will continue to battle the fire in the morning with the continued support from BC Wildfire Service and Metro Vancouver fire crews, fighting it by land and air.

A media briefing with Mayor Jackson is scheduled for 8 am on Monday, July 4 at Delta Municipal Hall. Further updates will be posted as required.

 

Burns Bog Fire July 3, 9:30 pm Update

The fire in the Burns Bog continues to advance and is now estimated at roughly between 55-70 hectares in size. 

Delta Fire has four teams on fire-watch in the industrial area, ensuring the safety of the businesses and protecting crucial infrastructure. Approximately 100 firefighters from Delta Fire, BC Wildfire Services and Metro Vancouver were battling the blaze today. 

We can now confirm that a Delta firefighter has been hospitalized due to a medical condition aggravated by the environment at the scene of the fire.

Highway 17 from Highway 99 to Nordel Way/Highway 91 connector remains closed. River Road also remains closed from 62b Street in Ladner to Nordel Way/Highway 91 connector. The Fraser River will reopen to marine traffic starting at 10 pm tonight.

The evacuation order for the Tilbury Industrial area is still active. We ask that the businesses and public stay clear of the area from 76 Street to Webster Road and Progress Way to River Road. 

The current prediction is that it will be at least a week before the fire is fully extinguished.

At this time the evacuation order and road closures remain in effect until further notice. Emergency personnel from the scene will be reporting back around 11 pm, at which time we will have further information for the public.

A media briefing with Mayor Jackson is scheduled for 8 am on Monday, July 4 at Delta Municipal Hall. Further updates will be posted as required.



Burns Bog Fire July 3, 7:15 pm Update


The Corporation of Delta continues to battle the fire in Burns Bog today.

The fire started at approximately 11:40 am just west of 80 Street, east of Highway 17. The Corporation of Delta Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated at 3:15 pm and has since been joined by representatives from BC Hydro and Fortis BC.

Currently, the fire is expanding and the most recent estimate of size is 55 hectares. Fire crews are on the ground and in the process of containing the fire with the support of five helicopters and aerial tankers. The firefight is being conducted by Delta Fire and crews from the BC Wildfire Services and Metro Vancouver. Firefighters from Squamish and Hope have also join the firefighting efforts.

Delta Fire is also receiving support at our fire halls from Surrey, New Westminster and Richmond Fire Services.

BC Wildfire Services and Metro Vancouver are battling the fire in Burns Bog. Current efforts from Delta Fire have been focused on containing and preventing the spread of the fire to the Tilbury area and defending crucial infrastructure.

Currently, there is no immediate risk to residential areas, but the public and businesses are being evacuated out of the Tilbury Industrial Area, from 76 Street to Webster Road and Progress Way to River Road.

The section of Highway 17 from Highway 99 to Nordel Way/Highway 91 connector has been closed to the general public. River Road is also closed from 62b Street in Ladner to Nordel Way/Highway 91 connector.

Smoke from the fire has been reported throughout the Metro Vancouver area. We are monitoring air quality and will provide updates as needed. The public can see current air quality data through Metro Vancouver’s AirMap: http://gis.metrovancouver.org/airmap

The next update will be at 9 pm. A media briefing with Mayor Jackson is scheduled for 8 am on Monday, July 4 at Delta Municipal Hall. Further updates will be posted as required.

For the latest updates please visit us on Twitter at @CorpDelta and on Delta.ca