Nanaimo Lakes wildfire now at 107 hectares and still growing

Nanaimo Lakes wildfire now at 107 hectares and still growing

WATCH: The blaze is still considered to be burning out of control in a northerly direction. Air tankers, helicopters, heavy machinery and firefigters battled the fire Monday.

The fire was discovered Sunday afternoon and at the time was 2 hectares big but has since grown to 107 hectares.

Several helicopters have been bucketing water on to the flamnes and air tankers have been dropping retardant on the fire as well.

39 people have also been fighting the fire on the ground and two pieces of heavy equipment including a feller buncher has been clearing trees to make a firebreak.

The cause is undetermined but is listed as “person” caused on the BC Wildfire Service website.

“The crews and the heavy equipment are working again to continue to establish control lines and the aviation resources are helping them cool areas of the fire as they work.” said Fire Information Officer Natasha Broznitsky.

The fire is burning in a mix of crown land and private managed forest land. Timberwest had a tanker truck on the scene Monday.

Investigators were also on the scene Monday trying to pinpoint what started the fire.

CHEK News has been told that gunshots where heard in the area before the fire started.

“In general shooting can cause wildfires to start if they ricochet off rocks but this fire in particular, the cause is it still under investigation so we can’t say yet whether that has anything to do with the cause of this wild fire.” said Broznitsky.

“The danger rating is generally high to extreme and certainly extreme on some of the southern Vancouver Island areas so under those conditions wildfires can start and spread very easily so were urging members of the public to just use extreme caution whenever they’re doing something that could cause a wildfire.” she added.

The blaze is classified as “out of control” and it is growing in a northern direction.

No houses are other structures are at risk right now and no one’s been evacuated to this point.

The Province issued a Smokey Skies Bulletin for the area Monday to include East Vancouver Island (south) between Nanaimo and Duncan.

“Wildfire smoke from a fire in the Nanaimo Lakes area is now impacting parts of the Cowichan Valley and parts of the Regional District of Nanaimo.” read the statement.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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