UPDATED: Fire at Flavelle mill in Port Moody

Rocky Point Park was evacuated for several hours Monday night as Port Moody firefighters battled a stubborn blaze at the Flavelle mill on the city's waterfront.

Investigators believe the source of the flames was a conveyer system on the property, but blowing embers lit up nearby wood chip piles, some log booms and an old abandoned shed.

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"We were picking up starts around 400 metres away from the original fire," said deputy chief Gord Parker, adding that nobody was injured in the incident. "We were getting some fairly shifty winds. We were getting fairly high wind gusts and ember transplants."

Eventually, a Seaspan tug boat with a water cannon was brought in to douse the flames from the inlet, while crews worked to contain the blaze on the ground. Two trucks from Coquitlam were also brought in to help. 

Parker said that firefighters were on scene at around 2:50 p.m. and had it mostly contained by 8 p.m., however they were still dousing hot spots until about 10 p.m. Twenty sprinklers were deployed throughout the site to keep the area soaked, he added.

"We were fortunate about the damp weather so far [this summer]," he said. "If this was last summer, it could have been a very different story."

Due to the amount of smoke billowing from the site, a decision was made at around 6 p.m. to close Rocky Point, the pier and the Boathouse Restaurant, said Paul Rockwood, Port Moody's acting city manager. 

"It was just a precaution," he said, noting that some people with respiratory conditions may have had difficulty breathing with all of the smoke. 

This is not the first time that firefighters have been called out to the Flavelle mill site. 

In April 2015, it took crews 12 hours to extinguish another stubborn blaze, which brook out at the facility's planing mill. Nobody was injured in the incident but the amount of smoke made it difficult for crews to contain the flames. 

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

@gmckennaTC 

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