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Fire news: Pacific Marine Drive reopens, Mars eyes opportunities down south

Pacific Marine Drive, connecting Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew has re-opened after being shut down for nearly two weeks because of the Lizard Lake wildfire.

Island Health and the Ministry of Environment say while conditions from that fire have improved they’re keeping a smoke advisory in place for the Cowichan Valley because smoke from Lizard Lake is mixing with smoke from big fires in Washington State

Crews have the 393 hectare blaze 70 per cent contained.

The big Washington State fires could be the next stop for the Martin Mars water bomber.

Coulson Aviation says their contract with the BC Wildfire Service expired Tuesday, and is not being extended.

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The company says the plane had a vital role in the fires it was called up for, including one near Cowichan Lake.

They’ve offered the plane to officials in Washington, but nothing’s been firmed up.

Coulson already has a big air tanker working on the Washington State Fires – a converted C-130 transport.

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