First Island wildfires of 2020 break out northwest of Campbell River

First Island wildfires of 2020 break out northwest of Campbell River
Watch A 12.5-hectare fire is still burning near Brewster Lake while a 100-hectare blaze continues to burn out of control on the mainland near Squamish.

Two wildfires have burned about 16.5 hectares of crown land northwest of Brewster Lake.

The largest is 12.5 hectares in size and is 40% contained.

Numerous firefighters have been on the scene since the first one broke out on Saturday. A helicopter was also used to dump buckets of water on the flames.

By Thursday afternoon the smaller four-hectare fire was under control and in “patrol status” while crews continued to concentrate on the larger one.

Meanwhile, a much larger wildfire burned near Squamish Thursday. Evacuation orders and alerts were in place for an area north of Brackendale where the fire is burning on a mountainside west of highway 99.

“It threatened some homes, a campground and BC Hydro infrastructure in the area and cut off the only access road to a small community of homes along Squamish Valley road,” said Fire Information Officer Donna MacPherson with the Coastal Fire Centre.

No buildings have burned.

Dozens of firefighters and 3 helicopters have been battling the fire, that is believed to be human-caused.

“The crews are having some pretty steep terrain to get through,” said MacPherson. “The fire started on sort of a level area then it ran up a fairly steep slope that was adjacent to it and then it got up to a plateau on top. It’s going to take crews a while to get their way around that to get their control lines in place.”

The fire danger rating is “Moderate” across most of Vancouver Island and the south coast but could increase to “High” over the coming days as little to no precipitation is expected until mid-next week.

An open burning ban went into effect across all of BC at noon Thursday. The ban does not apply to campfires but does prohibit the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and burn barrels. It covers all public and private land unless otherwise specified by local government authorities.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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