Currently, there are three wildfires across the entirety of Vancouver Island.
In the northern region of the island, the Newcastle Creek fire near Sayward is finally ‘being held’ despite the fact that it’s grown from 160 to 208 hectares.
This fire was discovered on Monday, May 29th and one week later seems to be near the end of its destruction path.
The Newcastle Creek fire is just 5.6 kilometres from the town of Sayward and despite lots of smoke and the encroaching fire, no evacuation was deemed necessary.
As of Sunday, June 4th, the fire was marked as being held, which indicates it isn’t expected to grow any larger than it is presently.
“It is reported that all containment lines are holding,” says the BC Wildfire Service. “Crews are taking direct attack on 80% of the fire, with the remaining 20% burning in extreme slopes and significant danger tree hazards.”
As of June 5th, there are 60 firefighters assigned to the Newcastle Creek wildfire.
Two new wildfires crept up on Vancouver Island over the weekend. One in Nanaimo, just west of their airport which has since been extinguished, and one about six kilometres from Port Alberni in the Cameron Bluffs area.
The Cameron Bluffs blaze is presently labeled as an ‘out of control fire’, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
This fire is a difficult one for the firefighters to approach and extinguish due to the terrain being extremely steep. It is smaller than the Newcastle Creek blaze at 20 hectares but still large and unfortunately growing.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, helicopters dropping buckets of water and suppressant is the best way and only option for getting this fire under control.
“Fire is highly visible from Highway 4 at Cameron Lake,” said the BC Wildfire Service. “Drivers are encouraged to use caution and focus on the road when travelling through the area.”
“Boaters on Cameron lake should stay clear of helicopter bucketing dip sites.”
The Cameron Bluffs fire is believed to be human caused but its origins are still under investigation.
According to Environment Canada’s seasonal forecast, this summer will almost certainly be hotter than most on average.
The heat is already upon Greater Victoria with the average weekly forecasted high hovering around 25°C until Friday when intermittent showers will grace the capital region.
Near Port Alberni, where the Cameron Bluffs remains out of control the forecasted high is around 32°C for the rest of the week.
Currently, category two and three open fires are banned across Vancouver Island. Campfires are still allowed, so long as they are less than half a metre in height and diameter.
Individual municipalities may have their own fire bans in effect.
- Open fire ban to come into effect for Vancouver Island beginning this Thursday
- ‘Out of control’: Human-caused wildfire on Vancouver Island grows to 160 hectares