Two wildfires continue to burn on Vancouver Island


WATCH: Forestry firefighters are working on a 14.5-hectare wildfire near Nanaimo Lakes that is about 50 per cent contained.

The burning wood and brush crackled as smoke billowed from a wildfire that continued to burn west of Nanaimo Lakes Tuesday.

It began on July 1 and quickly consumed 14.5 hectares in a cut block recently logged by Timberwest.

“It went for a quick and hot run, was 14 hectares originally and 14.5 is what we caught it at so just the volatility of the fuel type that was on the ground allowed for the wind mixed with the fuel type to spread the fire quite rapidly,” said Incident Command Dan Taudin-Chabot.

Another 10 hectare fire is burning northwest of Sooke in the Tugwell Creek area.

“It’s got 20 firefighters, heavy equipment, some industry resources and it’s also on private-managed forest land burning in slash,” said Dorthe Jakobsen of the Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville.

The cause of the Sooke fire has not been determined but the Nanaimo Lakes blaze is believed to be human-caused and investigators were on the scene Tuesday trying to pinpoint where it may have started.

“Oh it’s definitely a human-caused fire, we did not have any lightning come through,” said Taudin-Chabot.

The 2018 fire season in B.C. is off to an average start and starkly different from last year when a provincial state of emergency was declared on July 7.

2017 turned out to be the worst fire seasons in BC recorded history with over 1.2 million hectares burned, costing over half a billion dollars in fire suppression.

Sixty-five thousand people were forced from their homes.

On Tuesday the fire danger map for B.C. showed much of the province with a low ta o very low risk of fire, but on Vancouver Island it is rated as moderate to high from Victoria to Fanny Bay.

“It’s drier than people think, that’s the main thing, and also with the fuel type and a little bit of wind it doesn’t take much to actually get the fire to go.” said Taudin-Chabot.

Fire crews will be at the scene of both fires for at least a few more days.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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