Reports are pouring in of Victorians smelling smoke on Thursday as the wildfire outside Sooke continues to burn.
Skies to the west of Victoria are hazy as crews battle the blaze at Tugwell Creek, 18 kilometres northwest of Sooke.
The fire is now 84 hectares in size, according to the Coastal Fire Centre. Earlier reports estimated it may have grown to 100, but the estimate was based on low visibility during a chopper flyby.
The Coastal Fire Centre says 74 fire fighters and five support management staff are on site. There also seven helicopters, four pieces of heavy equipment, and four water tenders.
A fire centre spokesperson said the lack of creeks and ponds in the area means water has to be carried up to the site and stored in water bladders, making fighting the fire more difficult.
People in the Greater Victoria area took to social media to point out the smokey smell.
— Sandra Hudson (@slhudson) July 5, 2018
I'm in RJH, actually in the hospital working and it's very pronounced inside the buildings.
— Michelle (@YYJMichelle) July 5, 2018
Happy Thursday! You can sure smell the wildfire smoke this morning.
— Janis La Couvée (@lacouvee) July 5, 2018
A Reddit thread included accounts of smoke smell even in the northeast by UVic.
The Coastal Fire Centre says winds may change how the fire develops on Thursday afternoon. Winds are forecasted to shift to the west at around 2 p.m., then back to the east at 5 p.m.