North Island wildfire grows to 25 hectares, crews deploying modified response

North Island wildfire grows to 25 hectares, crews deploying modified response
At 25 hectares, the Nimpkish River wildfire is the largest currently burning on Vancouver Island. Aug. 22, 2022.

An out-of-control wildfire that sparked over the weekend on northern Vancouver Island has grown to 25 hectares.

The Nimpkish River fire southeast of Woss was first discovered Saturday and is currently the largest wildfire burning on Vancouver Island, according to the Coastal Fire Centre.

On Friday and Saturday, lightning storms that prompted a warning from Environment Canada sparked nine new wildfires on Vancouver Island, but officials say the cause of the Nimpkish fire is still undetermined.

Because there is no immediate threat to nearby communities or structures, the Coastal Fire Centre has deployed a modified response to the blaze, which means crews are managing it using a “combination of techniques with the goal to minimize costs and damage while maximizing ecological benefits from the fire.”

If the blaze reaches certain “trigger points,” it will prompt a reassessment of the wildfire and whether more resources need to be deployed, fire information officer Christi Howes told CHEK News Monday.

The fire centre is currently monitoring the blaze using a combination of remote cameras and aerial crews.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of wildfires burning across the province — 223 in the last week alone. The majority of the province’s 1,030 wildfires so far this year have been suspected to be caused by lightning strikes (711) while 263 have been suspected to be human-caused.

In the Coastal Fire Centre, there are 22 active wildfires.


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