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BC reveals cost of Copper Canyon wildfire, says investigation continues into cause

The province paid more than $800,000 to fight last summer’s Copper Canyon wildfire on Mosaic private forestlands, a freedom-of-information request by sixmountains.ca reveals.

The 32-hectare wildfire is thought to be human caused, but the province is not releasing further details, saying its investigation into the case is “currently active.”

The province says the wildfire was first reported on Aug. 5, 2021, and declared out on Oct. 19, 2021. The location is officially described as “outside North Cowichan near Chemainus River Provincial Park, 13 kms NW of Duncan.”

The province adds: “The overall cost is $819,665.12. This is the monies paid out to date but may not be a final number as some costs may yet be outstanding.”

Mosaic says it "spent money in that same order of magnitude through our own staff, contractors, equipment and supplies under the command of the province."

The wildfire caused concern for North Cowichan residents given the potential for the flames to spread into the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve.

Illegal campfires, some large and involving parts of motor vehicles, are not uncommon on Mount Prevost and Mount Sicker.

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The Copper Canyon blaze was initially known as the Holyoak Creek wildfire.

(Photos: Copper Canyon smoke - BC Wildfire Service; Mt Prevost illegal campfire - Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca)

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— Larry Pynn, April 12, 2022

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg