The Cameron Bluffs wildfire, located south of Cameron Lake on Vancouver Island, has expanded to 254 hectares as of this weekend, marking an increase from its previous size of 208 hectares on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the heavy rainfall experienced on Friday night and Saturday did little to alleviate the situation, and with rising temperatures expected, the conditions may worsen.
In an official statement released on Saturday, the BC Wildfire Service provided updates on the situation. They mentioned that the Cameron Bluffs wildfire is situated above Highway 4 and continues to burn.
The recent cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity have helped reduce fire behavior, aiding the suppression efforts.
⛔UPDATE – #BCHwy4 remains closed between Cathedral Grove/MacMillan Provincial Park and Koen Rd due to the Cameron Bluffs Wildfire.
— DriveBC (@DriveBC) June 12, 2023
Presently, there are approximately 60 firefighters, four helicopters, eight pieces of heavy equipment, and one Incident Management Team assigned to combat this wildfire. While the blaze does not pose an immediate threat to structures, it is impacting Highway 4.
Highway 4 is a crucial transportation route connecting Port Alberni, Ucluelet, and Tofino to the rest of Vancouver Island. The stretch of highway has been closed for a week.
As of Monday June 12th, Highway 4 continues to be inaccessible at Cameron Lake Bluffs due to safety concerns. A detour has been established for commercial vehicles and individuals who have essential travel needs.
In a statement, the BC government said ongoing evaluations are being conducted to monitor the risk of falling trees and debris on the highway, as well as to assess the stability of the slopes.
Unfortunately, there is currently no available estimate for when the highway will be reopened, which has been closed since June 6th.
Daily scheduled convoys continue along the detour route for commercial vehicles carrying essential goods and services. Checkpoints are in place along the detour route to provide information for essential travellers. A map of checkpoints has been made available.
As of this publication, there are three other fires burning on the island but all are deemed under control or have been doused.