VICTORIA -- An early morning fire outside a Cowichan Valley elementary school has forced administrators to close the school Monday.

All classes at Drinkwater Elementary are cancelled for the day due to smoke in the school hallways and classrooms.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are investigating the cause of the blaze, which was extinguished by the North Cowichan Fire Department.

“The proximity of the fire to the school caused smoke to be in the hallways and classrooms,” the Cowichan Valley School District said in a statement Monday morning. “Due to that fact, the fire department has recommended cancelling classes today so they can work to clear it.”

Drinkwater Elementary is located at 6236 Lane Rd. in Duncan.