Crews are still working on three “wildfires of note” on northern Vancouver Island, including two near Zeballos and one near Port Alice.
The Gold Valley Main wildfire has now grown to 90 hectares in size, up from 29 hectares on Friday. The out-control wildfire is still burning up-slope on steep terrain above the village.
Natasha Broznitsky, spokeswoman for the Coastal Fire Centre said crews are concerned about burning debris falling down the slope. Sixteen firefighters are placing hose lays and sprinklers along the base of the fire. They will patrol for any burning debris that may roll down the steep slopes and will work to extinguish that debris if it falls in areas that can be accessed.
The fire is currently in steep ground that is unsafe for firefighters. An evacuation alert remains in effect for the east side of Zeballos. Six properties are under an evacuation order.
Elsewhere, the Pinder Creek wildfire continues to burn above the only road into the village. The wildfire is still estimated to be 105 hectares and is 10 per cent contained. Thee are 17 firefighters, along with three helicopters and two heavy equipment, working on the blaze. This fire is also on steep terrain and is rolling down a slope. It is burning in slash and heavy timber.
Crews are cutting down trees along the road and clearing any debris with heavy equipment.
“Keeping the road open is a top priority,” Natasha Broznitsky, spokesperson for the Coastal Fire Centre said. She said while the road is open, there will be closures for 30 to 45 minutes as trees are felled to control the wildfire.
And further up the island, the Larry Lake wildfire is still burning north of Port Alice near Highway 30, the only road into the community. It is 10 per cent contained and is at five hectares. The fire is threatening utility poles that carry power and telephone lines to the village. There are 10 firefighters, two helicopters and two heavy equipment working on the fire.
All three wildfires were caused by lightning. There are now 64 wildfires burning on northern Vancouver Island, north of Highway 28.