B.C. wildfire forces evacuations at Whistler, Blackcomb

Jul 30, 2009 at 19:55
Jul 30, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
 
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Source: CBC News

Both Blackcomb and Whistler mountains have been evacuated as a vigorous forest fire quickly grew to 75 hectares on Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews were protecting nearby lodges from the uncontained blaze, but Whistler Fire Chief Rob Whitton said the fire was not threatening any Olympic runs or lifts.

A tower camera shows the forest fire near the ski resort Thursday

A tower camera shows the forest fire near the ski resort Thursday


Seven air tankers and several helicopters are dropping water and fire retardant on the fire, according to the B.C. Ministry of Forests. Whitton said the winds appear to be pushing the fire east, away from the village.

A lightning strike is believed to have started the fire around 11:45 a.m. PT on the east coast of Crystal Ridge, halfway up the mountain on the northwest flank of Blackcomb Mountain, according to a statement released by Julia Waring, communications director for the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

Witnesses said flames stretched more than 30 metres into the sky.

Pina Belperio watched the fire grow with a bird’s-eye view from across Green Lake, north of Whistler.

"You can see lots of red-orange flames building up, and the wind’s just blowing the flames just right now, just activating the whole fire," said Belperio.

Ellie Dupont, fire information officer for the coastal fire centre, said the current heatwave is partly to blame.

“We’ve been going through quite a drying period. And then the lightning we’ve been receiving, I think this is the third hit for that area,” said Dupont.

View live web cams from the resort.

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103 Comments

  • + 17
 It's raining in Whistler now and there were 7 bombers and lots of heli's dropping water. The fire is on Blackcomb and is quite a ways from the bike park. Hopefully it is contained so it does not spread that far. I'm sure the bike park will still open for the long weekend as long as there are no more lightning storms in the area.
[Reply]
  • + 21
 Fuck!! No!!!!!
  • + 7
 This could hurt Kokanee Crankworx if the dont contain it.
  • + 25
 mother nature is kinda a bitch
  • + 5
 i hope it doesnt ruin many trails. would suck to be visiting whistler for riding...
  • + 10
 dude that could fuck up the whole mountain
  • + 3
 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! :'(

hopefully it doesn't get to any trails
  • + 5
 Im just at the base of Blackcomb right now and we just got a bit of rain and from what I can tell it seems to be under control. They dumped a shit load of water on that fire, watched it for hours from whistler.
  • + 4
 i hope it doesnt affect riding my mate has just got on a jet to whistler and its his only chance to goFrown
  • + 1
 well, they evacuated Whistler so as of right now, he wont be riding, but im sure those fire crews are working EXTREMELY hard to keep the beautiful mountain and all its trails/runs safe.
  • + 4
 the trails should be fine considering you dont ride blackcomb..you ride whistler, hopefully its contained there though
  • + 11
 I'm also in whistler right now. And the fire is FAR away from the whistler hill's and most importantly, it got contain in the first hour it started. By the way, by evacuated whistler, they don't mean, evacuate all the hotels and everything. I'm still in my room and JUST rode the park. They evacuated people on the trails.. that's it!
  • + 3
 Good because im heading up there in a few weeks from the Fraser Valley.
  • + 2
 Yah, evacuate just sounds cool. But they pretty much just got the staff off the mountain and shut down the lifts.
  • + 0
 doesn't help that the winter olympics will be hosted there.... in a couple months
  • + 3
 ummm. Im also in whistler. This i some shitty reporting. My SGC coach just told us were riding tomorrow. evacuation my ass.
  • + 2
 damn son that sucks badly
  • + 2
 fuck the olympics if it means no Crankworx!!
  • - 1
 olympics need snow anyway so i dont even see it effectign that,but its prety ovious the riding will be fine,oviously they will have it out sooner then later blackcomb isint the place to ride as it is.
  • + 1
 Well. Just to tell you something. We rode today and it looked like nothing happened! Maybe there was a BIT of smoke everywhere on the hills.. but whatever!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 and just when I was talking in another forum and my webpage that it seems that the economy has being hitting Whistler as there is not as many people as it used to be....BOOMER....

But, I'm not worry about the riding but the ecological damage to those beautifull mountains... Frown
  • + 5
 stuff regrows and a fire can be good for starting a new ecosystem with nutrients. but its sad that animals are probs dying. anyways it shud be good.

sources" last year biology lol
[Reply]
  • + 2
 dude shit f*ck suck...keeeeryst are there any bikers out there that have an ounce of grammer that isn't potty mouth, AND, can spell! grow up all of you...just because you can rip a bike doesn't give you a cooool factor for having an IQ of rock slime! You don't need to use the vocabulary of a bunch of bike posers pretending to be tailwhip 360 front flip A line rippers to be cool...the next time i'm sitting having a 'cool' one with my girlfriend @ whistler and i hear you spewing verbal vomit i will stick my socks that i have been wearing all day in my 'ripe'510 shoes so far down your throat you will be able to wipe your ass from the inside ! meantime, happy trails y'all. can you feel the love. jc.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 before u all go saying 'nooo i love whistler i hope its going to be okay' read what people are saying... 'ummm. Im also in whistler. This i some shitty reporting. My SGC coach just told us were riding tomorrow. evacuation my ass.'
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i was there on wednesday and lightning started at 4 pm 1hour before the sign in for the phat wednesday races and they shut everything down for the night so the race was cancelled aparently the fire is out now i was texting some friends that live there.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 man i hope the fire gets put out soon..thats alot of wood going to waist...an alot of hard work to go to waist also..an my vacation would suck if i cant ride there as planned.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm in Whistler and wow there is a lot of misinformation out there. This is a pretty serious fire. The fire was 75 hectares, which is a fair size and it was a rank 4 fire, on a scale of 6, also it was not contained an hour after it started, in fact it is still not contained. However, they hit it pretty hard yeasterday and it's down to 30 hectares and is now a rank 2 fire. If you want more info, go here: bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=288
[Reply]
  • + 1
 dude that sucks balls, good things it contained amagine what peopel would think of whistler for the olympics and crankworks well all the best to the mountain, i lvoe that mountain going up soon soo i hope it doesnt ruined the mountain =(
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was at Whistler all last week and it is very dry in places. On Friday I was on the mountain and they have been watering the areas in the bike area, a second use for snow making equipment. It is most likely the equivalent of peeing on a tree in the desert but I'm sure it allows people to use the hill and keep it open to tourists. On Saturday night in Squamish there was an incredible lighting storm that lasted an hour but was accompanied with massive rain. I'm sure more trail has been lost this week to earth moving equipment for more condos than to any naturally occurring fire. The riding was mind blowing BTW.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 its honestly no big deal its a tiny fire right now and id say 75% contaned... they have been working there asses of all day... the olympics are next year and the luge and the new peak to peak is near by they are defenitly not risking it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hey guys to answer your questions the mountain seems okay- i mean i rode today and everything seemed fine. i did hear a few helicopters fly over blackomb because i guess there are still some issues, but i am not too worried about whistler mountain.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 well from the looks of it they finally got control over the fire without it spreading to whistler mountain so hopefully by tomorrow everything will have cleared up and the mountain will stay open!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 watched this fire for an hour or so from whistler bike& bean. definitely nothing to worry about as far as crankworks and riding in general. its completely on the other side of blackcomb from whistler peak. and they had it under control by that night. they had it completely out by the following day.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 NO! this is horrible news. i hope everything will be OKAY!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 This could be the Apocalypse =O
[Reply]
  • + 3
 HOLY SHIT!! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I 3 Whistler!!
  • + 12
 that was supposed to be a heart btw.
  • + 1
 you've never even been there haha.

would be kinda neat to ride like a smoking trail with a bunch of burnt trees though Razz
  • + 1
 SHH!! Well, It's Whistler...THE most amazing bike park in canada!!
  • + 1
 you don't know from experience though Razz . We should take the train and go ride there for like a week haha. that would be intense.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 dude it sucks a lot if there is anything someones gonna be dramatic about on here this would be a pretty legit. im goin for crankworx this year and id be pretty disapointed riding in a forest of burnt out tree stumps ahaha
[Reply]
  • + 0
 ok so its going to be under control they have 8 days to clear it up before crankworx and its on the opposite side of the opposite mountain. they need the port alberni mars water bombers to just dump a load right on the mountain!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 damn verry sad for you guys...
  • + 3
 very sad for everyone!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 darn you should get some over our rain we've been getting dumped on for a week now.
  • + 3
 es our shit f*ckin rain...yea I hate it but maybe it's on your way! TOday it was a sunnuy day??!!
  • + 3
 Oooo poor you been raining for a week. It rains all f*cking year here! Razz
[Reply]
  • + 2
 that cant be good for business.... hope it gets under control soon, it would be a real shame if the fire damages any runs and takes away from whistler's natural beauty
  • + 1
 Dude it hopefully is good I leave for sgc tomorrow and I'm in a panic now haha, but I called the girl there and she said that things are looking good for it and that no one should worry
  • + 1
 so they said the bike park is going to be open tommorow?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 man thats shit luck i wonder what the people in the sgc are feeling
  • + 3
 good point
  • + 1
 A post further up said his SGC coach said they would be riding tomorrrow
[Reply]
  • + 4
 WHISTLER SHALL LIVE ON!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Rumour is that it is contained. There are no more billowing clouds of smoke and the bombers have stopped. I also heard that Crystal Hut is gone...no more waffles for those of you who ski or snowboard.
  • + 2
 No, the Crystal hut is saved! the fire has been long contained since it started later afternoon and should actually be almost gone if not totally done at this point.
  • + 1
 coopers, u are my asprine to my heart attack
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Fuck i wonder how long the mountain is gonna be closed for
  • + 3
 Sounds like a while. Something that big and uncontained is going to take a while to get under control..
  • + 3
 probs untill the fires are contained they did say they were on blackcomb so that won't hurt the biking
[Reply]
  • + 3
 someone save whistler!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 focking weirs wether here at my home its always raining and there its hot as fire
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So did they get the fire under control? and is there still going to be Crankwoxs?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the olympics are on whistler mountain for the mens downhill. starts below freight train Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 THE BIKE PARK IS OPEN! IT"S FUNNY HOW PEOPLE TURN SOMETHING INTO PANIC. Different mountains. Just saw a whistler rep on TV
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just so everone knows whistler mountain is not the one burning its blackomb so no trails are destored
[Reply]
  • + 1
 shit i love then waffles, i can see the clouds from were i live in squamish
[Reply]
  • + 1
 DAM! Got friends leaving for there in a couple of days for Crankworx. That really sucks.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm supposed to go there on Tuesday for a few days. Wait and see, I guess? Wow, hard to believe...totally sucks.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that sucks i hope they get it contained soon or say bye to crankworks ext.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 im going to be so pissed if doest effect crankworxs im supposed to go from monday to sunday and i race on wednesday!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i wouldnt worry too much these fires are always coming and going
  • + 6
 THIS IS WHISTLER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thank god I got my Whistler riding in for the year.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 WAIT WAIT, NO!!! does this mean airdome and all the trails are closed. cuz im going up sunday, and tuesday/wendsday:OFrown
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The crystal area has opened up a treat. Its going to be an awesome winter
[Reply]
  • + 1
 im going there next friday will it be open do you think?
  • + 1
 you are a moron, read the replys..
  • + 0
 your a moron there is still a big ass fire close to whis.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 so crankworks is still on right??????
[Reply]
  • - 1
 a forest fire can jump and spread like triple is size in like hour, the chance of the fire to spread to whislter mountain is very high.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 o shit im going to whistler tomorrow is the airdome safe???
  • + 1
 yea f*ck anyone know anything aboutb the airdome? im suppsed to go ride it on sunday. anyone think itll be open by then?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 doing the rain dance.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 wow, look at all these drama queens!
  • + 1
 haha no kidding. "oh no, I am going to Whistler in a month, can I still ride it!!!!!" ahahaha
[Reply]
  • + 1
 THE MOUNTAIN WILL BE OPEN TOMORROW
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ya i payed for 3 hours and mabe an hour in they stopped the lifts!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 after fire it is easy to build trails. most of yours were built after fires
[Reply]
  • + 0
 uh oh. hope it doesn't effect crankworx or the worlds best riding for that matter. good luck to the fire fighters!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 cra lets hope that it cant reach whistler
[Reply]
  • + 0
 well i hope it gets put out soon
[Reply]
  • + 0
 why the fuck would you say that i hope you brake your legs
[Reply]
  • + 0
 im goin there this summer it better not burn
[Reply]
  • + 0
 snowboarding on black comb next year will be very interesting
[Reply]
  • + 0
 fuck i'm leaving for whistler in two days. FUCK!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The day I leave... Wow.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 this is really bad man
[Reply]
  • - 1
 yes whistler is burningSmile
[Reply]
  • - 1
 what runs are fucked up
[Reply]
  • + 0
 that is what everybody is asking.....I hope so, i driving there tomorrow either way
[Reply]

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