Ottawa fire crews say they still have a lot of work to do Friday as they try to eliminate the remnants of a major west-end brush fire.

The fire in a wooded area about a kilometre west of Moodie Drive in Nepean began around 2 p.m. Thursday, eventually taking up 100 acres of brush and trees.

Fire officials said they had it contained by late Thursday night and it was considered under control Friday morning, but there were still some risks.

“There’s not a one-acre spot that’s burning right now, it's a lot of small spots . . . it’s easy to control but still takes a lot of work to extinguish,” said Gerry Pingitore, Ottawa’s assistant deputy fire chief.

Embers can fly up to ten klilometres in the right wind gust, so a fire could start elsewhere in an environment with virtually no rain for almost three weeks.

The wind can also cause hot spots to flare up again, not to mention the fire could also spread underground through roots.

Fire crews have brought in bulldozers to make a break around the burning area, as well as getting continuous help from a water-dumping helicopter.

"It’s a little easier now than it was yesterday because we’ve had some bulldozers come in to give us some access routes, so we don’t have to walk," said Ottawa Fire Services spokesperson Marc Messier.

"It was a perfect opportunity to work on that firebreak," said volunteer firefighter Bruce Gaudet of the overnight work. "Make sure if things were to start up, things would be under control and we'd have a better chance for today."

The air quality is also a concern, with smoke sometimes so dense in the fire area that masks don't help and the smell of burning spreading across the city.

"Ash, smoke and forest fires can have a negative impact on the air quality, to the point where we could actually see an air quality health index of ten or plus which is quite serious," said Michele Charrier with Health Canada.

Nearby residents ready to evacuate again

Eleven homes in the Richmond Road area were evacuated as a precaution but have since been allowed to return, with the understanding they may have to leave again.

"I'm kind of uneasy, at any point they can just call us out and we have to leave whenever they want us to," said Andrew Hall-Hearn.

Ashley Trempe said she just moved to the area after another fire in May.

"We basically lost everything, we had no house insurance. Nothing," she said.

A nearby bird centre is also on edge.

"We are on standby, all our couriers are ready,” said Patty Summer with the Wild Bird Care Centre on Moodie Drive. “We’ll be on standby for the next couple of days."

Extremely dry conditions have caused the Rideau Valley Conservation Auithority to upgrade to a Level 2 drought, where water levels are 40 to 60 per cent lower than normal.

With reports from CTV Ottawa’s Stefanie Masotti and John Hua