Canadian Manufacturing

Crews battle Squamish, B.C. port fire for days

Dock pilings treated with creosote helped feed the blaze

April 20, 2015  by The Canadian Press

SQUAMISH, B.C.—Crews are further dismantling a burning dock in Squamish, B.C., which officials warn could result in potential flare-ups and increased smoke.

The Ministry of Environment on April 18 issued an air quality warning for the region, warning residents with underlying medical conditions to avoid strenuous exercise and stay indoors.

The District of Squamish says air quality readings are currently indicating low concern, but fire suppression efforts may have temporarily resulted in deteriorating air quality.

Residents are also asked to limit water use and to avoid beaches close to the water, where debris from the fire was visible.


The district says the environment ministry and various other supporting agencies are working on environmental protection and response.

The massive blaze broke out on the evening of April 17 and was contained, but not extinguished, by the next morning. An earlier air quality warning was lifted at that time.

Squamish fire chief Bob Fulton said tide swings were making it hard for firefighters to reach the underside of the dock.

Fulton said the blaze started on the south end of the dock. Pilings treated with creosote—a common wood treatment also used on railway tracks and utility poles—helped it spread, but there was no indication of its cause.

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