As the Burns Bog wildfire continues to blaze, the mayor of Delta is calling the situation a “major emergency.”
“We are under provincial emergency status right now. We started the [Emergency Operations Centre] yesterday afternoon,” Mayor Lois Jackson told reporters on Monday morning.
At the moment, the fire is only 10% contained and has consumed between 50 and 70 hectares of land, according to Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland. He says crews hope to have the fire 100% contained by the end of today.
“[The fire] acted the way we predicted.. it laid down and there wasn’t as much flare ups as we had anticipated,” said Copeland. “It has definitely improved from yesterday.”
Copeland says they aren’t speaking out on the cause of the fire, as it’s still under investigation. There were no lightning strikes in the area.
There will be 80 firefighters on site today, 40 from BC Wildfire Services, 20 from Metro Vancouver Parks, and 20 from Delta. No tankers will be used in the fight against the blaze today, but planes will continue to be used to establish the fire perimeter for ground crews.
One firefighter helping to battle the blaze had to be sent to the hospital, but Copeland said it was due to an unrelated medical condition.
Evacuation orders remain in place for around 25 businesses along Progress Way between 76 to 80th Streets. River Road has reopened, but Highway 17 is closed from Highway 99 to Nordel Way/Highway 91.
Metro Vancouver has yet to release an air quality warning, but conditions continue to be monitored. Jackson says air quality improved overnight.
Despite this, it appears many in the Metro area are able to smell the smoke drifting in from Delta.
— The True Shot Photog (@TheTrueShot) July 4, 2016
— Lauren Mills (@LtotheMillsy) July 4, 2016
The smoke from the #BurnsBogFire has most certainly reached other parts of Metro Vancouver.
— Jim! (@jetherolang) July 4, 2016
— Rhoda (@rhodaBeeC) July 4, 2016
Who else woke up thinking their building was on fire? Smoke from #BurnsBogFire has drifted into downtown Vancouver, strong smell in air.
— Laura Kane (@ellekane) July 4, 2016
— Alex Dabrowski (@alexdabrows) July 4, 2016
How is there no public health advisory for air quality in Vancouver atm? Huge smoke smell and having trouble breathing. #BurnsBogFire
— Tommy Levi (@tslevi) July 4, 2016
— Brandilicious (@brandi_licious) July 4, 2016
Gross smoke smell from #BurnsBogFire all the way in Vancouver.
— Ken Jeffery (@kenjeffery) July 4, 2016
— Clement Sienna Blaze (@Mrmissblaze) July 4, 2016
— Courtney Richter (@CourtMRichter) July 4, 2016
— Jess Sloss (@thattallguy) July 4, 2016