BC Wildfire Service continues to monitor out-of-control wildfires on Vancouver Island

BC Wildfire Service continues to monitor out-of-control wildfires on Vancouver Island

The BC Wildfire Service says it is only planning to monitor two out-of-control wildfires in the Strathcona Provincial Park region of Vancouver Island.

The two fires were spotted in the region last week and are believed to be caused by lightning strikes or other natural sources.

While people in the area may be concerned by the smoke they are seeing coming from the park, the wildfire service says no structures or critical infrastructure are being threatened by the fires as of Saturday afternoon.

“There have been numerous reports of smoke from the lightning-caused fires in Strathcona Park,” said fire information officer Kimberly Kelly on Saturday.

“Due to some increased fire activity, we did see those fires producing smoke and it’s highly visible from a wide area, including Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox and Gold River,” she said.

Kelly says there’s currently no plan to send firefighting resources to the fires since they are believed to be naturally caused and are located in remote areas.

“It has been determined that natural fires that do not threaten the safety of structures or infrastructure should be allowed to burn until it rains,” she said.

Kelly says natural fires are an important part of forest health, and allow regenerative growth to take place.

She notes that the BC Wildfire Service and BC Parks are regularly monitoring the fires, and will take action if there are any safety risks.

‘Natural regenerative process’

For now, it’s not anticipated that the fires will pose any risks to people, structures, or infrastructure.

One of the fires, located on Mount Con Reid, measured 395 hectares as of Friday. The other out-of-control fire in the park, located north of Wolf River, measured 107 hectares as of Friday.

Kelly says their remote locations means they pose little risk to people, though residents should expect to see smoke coming from the fires – perhaps even into the fall.

“It is burning at a high elevation at steep terrain and is no threat,” she said, “It really is part of that natural regenerative process, and it is important for the health of our forests to allow these fires to burn naturally.”

The BC Wildfire Service notes that it’s important to report sightings of smoke if you are concerned.

“We really do appreciate the public calling in reports of smoke and fire,” said Kelly.

“So there’s never too many calls. If the public is concerned, call 1-800-663-5555 [or *5555 from a cell phone], we really appreciate that.”

The wildfire situation in B.C. continues to be dynamic, with the provincial government issuing travel bans on the mainland on Saturday due to devastating wildfires in the Kelowna region.

The order comes one day after the province declared a state of emergency due to the wildfire situation.

RELATED: Island fire departments send crews to Kelowna to help battle wildfire



Adam ChanAdam Chan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!