Wildfire near Nanaimo likely started by lightning growing in size

WatchThe Coastal Fire Centre says the Green Mountain wildfire, southwest of Nanaimo, has reached 15 hectares in size and is out of control.

Residents near Second Lake could see helicopters, bucketing water, circling back and forth and crews tried to contain a wildfire burning on Green Mountain, about 30 kilometers southwest of Nanaimo.

The wildfire on Green Mountain started Friday. It is out of view, and unreachable by public roads, but it has grown 15 hectares in size since it first began.

“The lightning storm that came across Island early on Friday morning brought lots of lightning to the area so that’s likely how this started,” said Dorthe Jakobsen with the Coastal Fire Centre.

The night before the fire started, those living near Second Lake were given quite the show as thunder and lightning ripped through the area.

“All of a sudden there was thunder right over the cabin and it was the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard. It shook everything,” recalled Shannon Carifelle.

Carifelle says those camping on their property quickly scampered inside with the thunder scaring some of them.

She says the area has had wildfires in the past and she’s not going to worry about this one until they “starting telling us to evacuate.”

Residents in the area were forced to evacuate their homes last year. However, the Coastal Fire Centre says right now, the wildfire poses no risk to the homes.

“We have four helicopters and 25 firefighters and heavy equipment out there working to suppress the fire,” said Jakobsen.

READ: New wildfire breaks out on Vancouver Island near Horne Lake

This is the largest of 10 fires that lightning has started in the coast region, including one near Errington that crews were able to quickly contain.

Environment Canada is forecasting just a chance of showers tomorrow followed by sun and heat for the following three days.

This is the largest wildfire on Vancouver Island this summer surpassing a much smaller fire near Horne Lake in late July.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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