UPDATED: Mount Hayes wildfire now ‘being held’ with minimal growth overnight

UPDATED: Mount Hayes wildfire now 'being held' with minimal growth overnight

The wildfire burning northwest of Ladysmith is now classified as ‘being held’ after showing minimal growth overnight.

Fire crews feel that sufficient suppression of the fire has been achieved and the fire is not likely to spread beyond its boundaries, according to an update from BC Wildfire Service (BCWS).

The fire is currently sitting at an estimated 73-hectares and fire crews are be working to create a 20-foot control line around the fire, according to a press release from the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD).

“The fire has not grown in the last 24-hours, the reason for the updated size is just more accurate mapping with better visibility,” said BCWS information officer Julia Caranci.

BCWS says three helicopters along with 56 firefighters, four officers and 12 pieces of heavy equipment including water tenders and excavators will be deployed Sunday.

They say crews will be trying to complete a ‘wet line’ (a series of hoses and sprinklers) around the perimeter and mop up around the control lines.

“While holding the fire is an important milestone, crews still have lots of hard physical work ahead,” said a tweet from BCWS Sunday. “Due to extremely dry conditions, this fire has burned deep into the ground.”

The fire is demonstrating low levels of fire activity and hasn’t grown significantly, according to BCWS. Caranci says that while there may be some winds this afternoon, containment is expected to go well for the rest of the day.

“We may have some winds to contend with a little later on this afternoon and this can always create unexpected challenges,” said Caranci. “So far it’s going well.”

Caranci stressed that the Coastal Fire Centre remains to have a campfire ban. She says people need to stay diligent with following the ban.

“The Coastal Fire Centre remains to have a campfire ban,” said Caranci. “We’ve been having reports of people having camp fires so we just really want to stress that is not allowed right now and we would really like the support of the public in obeying that campfire ban.”

The CVRD says the joint evacuation alerts for addresses on Takala Road, David Road and Ivey Road are still in effect along with the evacuation order for the Bush Creek Fish Hatchery near Christie Falls.

The CVRD is reminding the public to keep track of their symptoms such as eye irritation, runny nose, sore throat, mild cough, wheezing or headaches which may be associated with exposure wildfire smoke.

Another update on the fire will come Sunday night from the CVRD.

READ MORE: State of Local Emergency declared due to Mount Hayes wildfire: Cowichan Valley Regional District

Justin WaddellJustin Waddell

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