Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Two ‘out of control’ wildfires emerge on Vancouver Island over long weekend


Over the Canada Day long weekend, two wildfires were discovered and the BC Wildfire Service is now actively trying to suppress and extinguish the blazes. 

One of the fires was discovered on Monday, July 3rd at Browning Creek, just outside Sayward, which had previously been working to keep the Newcastle Creek wildfire at bay. 

The second ‘out of control’ wildfire was discovered on Sunday, July 2nd near Bamfield on the Klanawa River. 

Browning Creek wildfire

The wildfire is around six kilometres southeast of Sayward on the slopes of Hkusam Mountain. 

It is approximately two hectares in size and the BC Wildfire Service has deemed it to be ‘out of control’ because it has not yielded to suppression efforts since it was discovered. 

Browning Creek location (BC Wildfire Service)

Due to its location, there are two helicopters responding with buckets of water to try to extinguish the larger flames while five ground crews work with heavy machinery to stop the fire in its tracks. 

This fire is believed to be caused by human activity.

“The growth has been toward the east away from structures,” said Abigail Herman, a BC Wildfire Service spokesperson. “There are no evacuation orders or area restrictions at this time.”

Klanawa River wildfire

This fire grew hot and fast in the dry conditions that persist on Vancouver Island’s southwestern regions. 

It is also deemed out of control by the BC Wildfire Service who are working at suppressing and extinguishing the 12 hectare blaze located around 18 kilometres from Bamfield. 

The cause for this fire is still under investigation, as it cannot be determined what ignited the flames which were discovered over the long weekend. 

Klanawa River wildfire location (BC Wildfire Service)

There are currently 20 firefighters battling the wildfire along with two helicopters equipped with water buckets. 

“Yesterday, it was actioned by land-based airtankers, skimmers, and helicopters, dropping water and laying down retardant lines to slow growth and bucketing water to reduce fire intensities,” Herman explained. “There was minimal growth overnight.”

No restrictions or evacuation orders have been necessary while fighting this fire as of this publication.

Presently, in all of BC, there are 105 active wildfires. On Vancouver Island, there are three, with four more wildfires that have been deemed ‘under control.’

Curtis Blandy

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