Photos show aftermath of wildfire near Shawnigan Lake

Photos show aftermath of wildfire near Shawnigan Lake
Photo: Coastal Fire Centre
McGee Creek wildfire aftermath.

The BC Wildfire Service says the out-of-control blaze that sparked near Shawnigan Lake Tuesday is believed to be human-caused.

The wildfire at McGee Creek west of Shawnigan Lake, now under control, was 0.24 hectares, and photos sent to CHEK News show the aftermath with trees badly damaged.

Two initial attack crews are on site Wednesday, according to a Coastal Fire Centre spokesperson.

“The fire is 0.2 hectares in size, and the cause is still under investigation but is suspected to be human-caused,” they added in an email.

The Wildfire Service says humans start wildfires in several ways, either by accident or intentionally.

Human activity causes approximately 40 per cent of wildfires in B.C., according to 2023 data. The Wildfire Act summarizes wildfire regulation fines.

The spokesperson says 13 wildfires have been reported on Vancouver Island so far this year, with 39 throughout the Coastal Fire Centre, which includes the Island and parts of B.C.’s mainland and encompasses about 13 million hectares of land.

Of the 39 fires, one was lightning-caused, and the rest were human-caused.

READ ALSO: ‘Human-caused fires are not malicious’: Human-caused wildfires are preventable, but not necessarily intentional

(Photo: Coastal Fire Centre)

Speaking with CHEK News Sunday, fire information officer Gord Robinson said the Island’s wildfire season had started slower, but crews are monitoring forests as warmer weather approaches.

He found that June’s wetter, cooler weather had lowered the season’s overall severity.

Robinson also urged homeowners to be fire-smart by pruning trees and shrubs, removing leaves and keeping firewood away from structures, and said people should always obey campfire and backyard burning restrictions.

The recommendations follow 2023’s wildfire season, which was the most destructive in the province’s recorded history. More than 2.84 million hectares of forest and land burned.

In B.C., wildfires can be reported to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone. If you see smoke, call it in and do not assume someone else already has.

JUNE 23 STORY: ‘Starting to dry out’: Slow start to Island wildfire season not guaranteed to stay

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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