The Delta Fire Department says the Burns Bog fire is now 50% contained.
More than 80 firefighters from Delta, the BC Wildfire Service, and Metro Vancouver have been battling the flames, which were spotted just before noon yesterday.
Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland says crews hope to have the fire area completely contained by the end of today or tomorrow morning, and have pegged the fire’s size at 78 hectares.
“That’s not that its grown, it’s actually the exact size of the fire, we had no fire extension overnight.”
However, Copeland says crews expect it to take about a week to fully extinguish.
Copeland says as of yet, there’s no sign of what caused the fire. He says a team of investigators from Delta Fire and BC Wildfire is being assembled.
READ MORE: Fire breaks out in Burns Bog
Tilbury evacuation to be lifted soon
Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord says the evacuation order for the Tilbury industrial area will be lifted at 8pm.
“So any of those businesses that have night shifts will be allowed to come back this evening, and will be able to continue work this morning. However, I must state as well we are certainly alive to the fact that it is a dynamic fire still and there may be further evacuations as we move forward.”
However, Dubord says the South Fraser Perimeter Road between Highways 91 and 99 will remain closed at least until Friday, as fire crews are using it to move trucks and equipment.
“In order to fight this fire successfully, we need to be able to provide them an environment where they can do their work safely.”
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson says Hydro crews expect to have power restored to the Tilbury area by 10:30 pm.
WATCH: Air crews work the Burns Bog fire Sunday
Peat fire averted
Jackson adds there’s another piece of good news for fire crews: the fire appears not to have gotten into the peat layer, which would allow it to smolder and travel underground.
“One of the main reasons being that we got there very quickly and that’s another good piece of news for us.”
Jackson says the Corporation of Delta has confirmed that no fire retardant has contaminated crops in the surrounding agricultural areas.
She says Metro Vancouver is closely monitoring air quality, and report that it is currently about the same level as this morning. No air quality advisory is expected.
Fast burning blaze
When the fire broke out yesterday, it was initially reported at just 100 x 100 meters.
But gusty winds soon whipped the flames up, and within a few hours it had grown to 70 hectares in size, forcing the closure of Highway 17.
Late in the afternoon, flames jumped Highway 17, forcing an evacuation while fire crews took a defensive positions to protect containers and infrastructure in the Tilbury industrial area.
The bog has been the site of several major fires in recent decades, the most prominent in 2005.
That fire was found to be human caused, and took more than a week to put out as firefighters hunted for hot spots in the peat.
The fire also knocked out radio transmitter towers in the area, including that belonging to CKNW’s Sister station AM730 Traffic.
The all-traffic station was taken off the air Sunday afternoon but you can still listen live on HD Radio 101.1 FM, sub-channel 3 in downtown Vancouver only, and online at am730traffic.ca.