Fire crews try to contain Mount Arrowsmith fire


Smoke has been billowing for the last 24 hours near Port Alberni ever since the Coastal Fire Centre was put on duty to try to and contain a blaze that broke out late Saturday afternoon.

“It has seen minimal growth overnight and it’s held at an estimated 20 hectares as of today,” says BC Wildfire Service Information Officer Ryan Turcot.

“So today we do have 27 firefighters on sight actioning the blaze with support from helicopters and equipment.”

Four air tankers were on the fire yesterday and more firefighters and water trucks are on the scene today, so any spread of the fire has been slowed down.

Although the BC Wildfire Service app reported Saturday the fire was started by a person, that is not yet confirmed.

“At this point of time, the cause of the wildfire is under investigation,” said Turcot.

“And it’s too early at this point to speculate.”

With temperatures reaching 30 degrees on Vancouver Island, fire crews are on high alert for more activity.

“Essentially there is a higher likelihood of new wildfires starting given the opportunity, as well as more opportunity for the fire to spread at a faster rate due to the drying of the terrains.”

Turcot says in any typical fire season, close to 40 per cent of all wildfires are human caused.

While no campfire bans are in place around the province, people are urged to use caution when lighting a flame outside.

“Those additional 40 percent of the wildfires that we deal with on a year-to-year basis, you know, those are fires that are diverting our attention away from fires that can’t be prevented.”

The fire is not near any property at this time.

Turcot says anyone going to the back country should go to the BC Wildfire Service website for information to avoid areas where fires are burning.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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