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Canada Day Fire on Ancient Grove Creek

Sadly, we discovered a fire smoldering underground at the party site on Ancient Grove Creek on Friday afternoon, July 3, 2020. The roots of an old cedar stump and a living  hemlock tree were smoldering, we could see  glowing embers along the roots at the base of the tree and smoke was rising out of crevices in the soil. Since the fire hadn’t been extinguished by a day of rain, it wasn’t going out on its own.

We called the Burnaby Fire Department non-emergency line and they responded promptly. We met the crew of three at Cariboo Road and guided them into the site. They called in a  specialized team who used an ATV to bring in a mobile water pump and hose which they  set up beside the pool below the old wooden culvert. They pumped between 300 – 500 L  of water down to the party site in order to flood out the below ground fire. This fire would  have smoldered underground until the forest dried a bit and then would have flared up  again. The Burnaby Fire Chief called that evening to thank us for alerting them and to let  us know that the fire crew had left the scene.

Dave and I returned the following day to remove the party debris — a dozen beer cans, 2  boxes of spent fireworks, junk food bags and containers, and a partly burnt grade 12 math  assignment on compound interest — sadly no name was attached! It is horrifying and  disappointing that people would set a fire in this remote part of the forest and leave  without ensuring that it was put out. Burnaby parks staff have been notified.

Canada Day Fire

This location on Ancient Grove Creek has been a party spot for years and is the most  difficult place in the forest for emergency personnel to access — it is equidistant from both the Craig Ave and Cariboo Road trail entrances. We are lucky that it has been so wet this  year as, in typical dry summers, this could have started a major fire in the forest and there  wouldn’t have been enough water flow in Ancient Grove creek to fight it!