Crews continue to battle Mt. Hayes wildfire, no ‘significant’ growth overnight

Photo submitted to CHEK News

Firefighters continue to battle a 70-hectare wildfire on Mount Hayes.

On Saturday morning, the BC Wildfire Service deployed five helicopters, five officers, and 56 firefighters in an effort to suppress the blaze, according to the latest update from the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The wildfire, which was sparked on Thursday afternoon and is located near Ladysmith, saw “no significant” growth overnight Friday.

“Fire crews monitored the situation on the ground last night and focused efforts on the eastern slope of Mt. Hayes,” the regional district said in its latest update, issued Saturday afternoon.

Julia Caranci, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre, said with more crews battling the wildfire Saturday, there is optimism.

“Today conditions are overcast. We do have more humidity in the air and thus far today, the winds are later than they were yesterday and the day before,” she said. “So, we’re really hoping with more personnel, to take advantage of the weather and to really try to push forward today.”

Caranci said there hasn’t been any critical damage to any structures and that it is unclear how long crews will have to stay.

“It is a significant fire,” she said. “It’s one day at a time. One step at a time right now.”

An evacuation order for Bush Creek Fish Hatchery and an evacuation alert for residences on Takala Road, David Road and Ivey Road remain in place. A State of Local Emergency issued by the regional district also remains.

“Please be prepared to leave your home on short notice if it is determined to be necessary. Emergency officials will come door-to-door to notify you,” the CVRD said in its update.

People are urged to avoid the areas around Takala Road, David Road and Ivey Road as well as the Cowichan Valley Regional Trail.

There are currently 250 wildfires burning across the province and nearly 8,600 square kilometres have been burned by wildfires since the start of the fire season, according to the BC Wildfire Service and the Ministry of Forests.

With files from The Canadian Press

RELATED: Evacuation order, alerts issued for residents in Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo due to Mt. Hayes wildfire

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