Caught on camera: Hikers navigate smoky trail while escaping fire
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 4:40PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:59PM PDT
As crews continue battling a wildfire that broke out north of Lions Bay Monday, witness video is offering a glimpse of the tense moments hikers spent trying to avoid getting trapped behind the smoke and flames.
The short clip shows hikers covering their mouths as they rush down Brunswick Mountain, trying not to breathe in the smoke that's filling the forest as they navigate downed trees and rocks on the path.
"What is this?" one woman says. "OK, get out, don't talk about it."
While those hikers managed to escape on their own, two others ended up stuck on the trail.
The pair said they were on their way down Monday afternoon when they saw a "wall of flames" devouring the mountainside. Fortunately, firefighters arrived shortly after and led them higher up the trail so helicopters could start dumping water on the blaze.
The hikers were then airlifted off the mountain.
On Tuesday afternoon, the B.C. Wildfire Service said crews are still working to extinguish the blaze, which fortunately remained only about a hectare in size.
But the terrain has made their efforts particularly challenging, Fire Information Officer Donna McPherson said.
"It's coming down off the mountain onto a pretty steep cliff and it's a very difficult area for firefighters to get into safely," she told CTV News. "There is debris raining down from the fire and there isn't a lot of opportunity to get in there and get a good control line."
A team of 18 firefighters are battling the blaze with help from two helicopters, and officials said they are hopeful they can have the blaze contained by nightfall.
An investigative team is also on hand to try and determine what caused the fire to break out.
"There was no lightning in that area that we could attribute this fire to, so we know it is people-caused," McPherson said.
With files from CTV Vancouver's David Molko and Penny Daflos