Public reminded to be aware after recent wildfires on Vancouver Island

WatchA number of recent wildfires on Vancouver Island have officials warning people to be fire smart.

It’s been a quieter summer for wildfires but officials say Vancouver Island is not in the clear just yet.

There have been a number of recent wildfires on Vancouver Island.

One blaze in Port Alberni was human-caused, another north of Qualicum Beach is believed to have been burning underground for months.

A neighbour took footage of the wildfire off Port Alberni’s Compton Road Sunday night while also calling 911.

Firefighters did extinguish the blaze quickly but it reached 16 metres by 30 metres before it was under control. .

“Mostly a ground fire but it was starting to ladder into a couple of the trees,” Port Alberni Chief Mike Owens said.

Earlier Sunday – north of Qualicum Beach – firefighters were called to a fire on Timberlake Road. Firefighters believe a stump fire here in December 2018 has been smouldering underground. Once conditions are right, it lit up. It’s something that firefighters say is not uncommon.

BC Wildfire Service was also called in to help with the fire near Qualicum Beach.

The largest wildfire burning on Vancouver Island, more than half a hectare in size, is near Port Alice.

“It’s probably going to be under control here shortly. We’ve got three initial attack crews working. Actually, two with one en route and a helicopter was bucketing yesterday and there’s a helicopter there today as well,” Coastal Fire Centre information officer Dorthe Jakobsen said Monday.

The Coastal Fire Centre says, fortunately, this summer has been below average for fires and much quieter than the past two record years.

But the summer is not over yet.

“We’re quite concerned about the Victoria area, southern Vancouver Island, Duncan, Victoria is very dry. There’s some extreme fire danger rating in small areas in there,” Jakobsen said.

Owens said the Port Alberni area is not as dry as last year.

“However we have been in high danger rating in this area for the past couple of weeks so we’re not out of the woods yet,” Owens said.

Hours after the interview with Owens, late Monday afternoon, smoke starts to rise from yet another fire in the area, near Loon Lake.


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