A total of 34 new fires, with 31 being lightning-caused, have been sparked on Vancouver Island since Saturday.
Multiple lightning storms across north and central Vancouver Island over the last 24 hours are to blame for the uptick in fires, which the Coastal Fire Centre is working to assess and extinguish.
“All our resources are attending,” said fire information officer Dorthe Jacobsen. “Most of them are spot fires and lighnting trees, the largest is 8-hectares at this point.”
The forecast for Vancouver Island does show a break from thunderstorms for the next week, and some of the storms did help provide some much-needed moisture.
“We did get some precipitation, which we are happy about, so fire behavior is down, its a brief respite, but we are going back into warm and dry weather with no end in sight,” added Jacobsen
The public is urged to exercise extreme caution while outdoors, so that new fires are not started and so that resources can stay on natural causes.
“The human-caused fires are 100 per cent avoidable… they take those precious resources from these lightning-caused fires,” said Jacobsen.
Multiple other human-caused fires are still burning on central and south Vancouver Island.
The Nanaimo Lakes wildfire has not grown and is still sitting at 182 hectares, and 40 per cent containment. An evacuation order was downgraded to an alert, and a previous alert was removed yesterday following the progress made by crews.
An evacuation alert for areas of Osborne Bay Road near the mountain has now been lifted, meaning that affected residents do not need to remain on standby to leave their homes.
An open burning prohibition and campfire ban are in place for areas in the Coastal Fire Centre. More details can be found here.
“Please keep calling in anything you see,” said Jacobsen. “And please be careful when you are out.”