Active wildfires on Vancouver Island are suspected to have been caused by lightning, according to the B.C. Wildfire Dashboard.
The 10 fires all have the same ignition date, Aug. 10, and are all listed as new under the stage of control.
The fires are Ralph River, Shepherd Creek, south of Homasum Lake, Della Falls, north of Drinkwater Creek, west of McBride Lake, north of Nahmint Lake, Nahmint River, Barkley Sound and Nitinat Lake.
The Coastal Fire Centre says crews are currently heading to the fires to assess and fight the fires, and more information will be available in the coming hours.
“Until we get people on the ground to do an assessment of the size of the fire, then we start out with that spot fire size in our system,” said Julia Caranci, fire information officer with Coastal Fire Centre.
“And so that may change as the day goes on when we get people on the ground and depending on how those fires burn or spread, if indeed they do spread.”
Caranci says since the centre knew of the coming lightning storm, extra crews had been brought in to prepare for possible wildfires.
“We’re very early in the response stage, we did know that this event was coming so we had increased our resourcing and readiness to be ready for this,” Caranci said. “So we’re planning on getting to these quickly and actioning them as quickly and effectively as we possibly can.”
The lightning is expected to last for the rest of today and into tomorrow, so Caranci says it is important to people to report if they see a column of smoke.
“It doesn’t matter if there’s multiple reports, the more people who are reporting seeing these fires the better off we’ll all be,” Caranci said. “Just call the 1 800 663-5555 if you do think you’re seeing a wildfire.”
There are currently 58 active wildfires in the province, with lightning being the suspected cause in 42 of the fires. People are suspected to have caused eight, and eight have an unknown cause.
There are seven fires of note, and 14 are listed as out of control.
A previous version of this article stated there were four active wildfires. Since it was initially published, the B.C. Wildfire Dashboard added another five fires.