Several wildfires burning on Vancouver Island are categorized as “out of control” by the BC Wildfire Service.
One of the largest fires is located in the area of Mount Healey, which sits on the west side of Sooke Lake – located just southwest of Shawnigan Lake.
According to the BC Wildfire Service app, the fire has been upgraded to its new classification as of the morning of Tuesday, August 18.
The fire is currently estimated to be eight hectares in size, says the BC Wildfire Service.
Footage of two floatplanes landing on Shawnigan Lake on Monday to collect and distribute water to nearby fires.
🎥: Cindy Plasterer pic.twitter.com/0W86udHFsW
— CHEK News (@CHEK_News) August 18, 2020
Throughout the afternoon on Monday, multiple water bomber floatplanes were seen landing on Shawnigan Lake to fill up before taking off and distributing water to some of the fires in the area.
Residents said that the floatplanes worked throughout the afternoon and evening, from approximately 3 p.m. until shortly after 7 p.m.
The Sooke Reservoir wildfire, which is close to the Mount Healey, is at 2.30 hectares as of Tuesday evening.
The other out of control wildfires are Meade Creek near Youbou at seven hectares, Rheinhart Creek at 0.01 hectares, Trap Mountain #1 at 1.10 hectares, Trap Mountain #2 at 1.20 hectares, Trap Mountain #3 at 022 hectares and Begg Creek at 3.50 hectares.
Dave Milne lives on Cowichan Lake, near Youbou, where helicopters were seen scooping water for the Meade Creek Fire.
“All of a sudden helicopters were just one after another after another all afternoon (Monday),” said Dave Milne.
Several wildfires sparked across Vancouver Island in the past few days as a result of a big lightning storm that illuminated the skies over Vancouver Island on Sunday night.
Dorthe Jakobson, a fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre, said some new fires were spotted overnight Monday.
“There were two fires active before the lightning storm that weren’t part of the lightning storm and then 19 fires we picked up from the lightning storm,” she said.
“All of those fires are currently active.”
Jakobsen said it is important to remember the first status used on a fire is “out of control” even if crews haven’t arrived at the area yet.
“The plan of attack is to get there as quickly as possible and get it out as quickly possible and our initial attack crews are brilliant at that kind of work and are having great success,” she said.
Jakobsen said rain is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, which will help crews, particularly with the smaller fires.
More information about the B.C. wildfires can be found on the BC Wildfire Dashboard.
To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call the BC Wildfire Service 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone)