Wildfire sparks near Ladysmith, considered ‘out of control’ amid dry conditions

Wildfire sparks near Ladysmith, considered 'out of control' amid dry conditions
Emma MacMain
The 'vigorous ground fire' is burning north of Ladysmith.

A wildfire on southern Vancouver Island is burning ‘out of control’ in very dry conditions.

The fire, located approximately 4.5 kilometres outside Ladysmith, near Mount Hayes, has grown to 4 hectares in size and it is difficult to fight because of the highly flammable material on the ground, according to BC Wildfire Service information officer Donna MacPherson.

“It’s burning what our crews are calling a ‘vigorous ground fire’ which is ranked 2 to 3,” said MacPherson. “So it’s not an organized flame front, it’s burning on the ground and when it hits the occasional susceptible tree it may burn that individual tree.”

MacPherson said there are currently 10 firefighters, four helicopters, two water tenders and one piece of heavy equipment working on the fire and air tankers had helped earlier to lay retardant on the fire. She said there are not any structures in danger at the moment.

Crews will be assessing and looking for ways to contain the fire as the day progresses, but MacPherson says this will be difficult because of how the fire is burning and because of wind in the area.

“It’s difficult, with fire when it is burning as vigorously as this one, about putting crews in front of it,” said MacPherson. “So generally they start at the sides and start to work up it.”

The fire is burning in an area that is considered an ‘extreme’ fire danger on Vancouver Island, and BC Wildfire Service is cautioning people outside to be diligent and report any signs of wildfire activity.

“We do rely on the public to let us know,” said MacPherson. “Us getting to the fire early is a key factor in helping us with the fires, anyone who sees a column of smoke needs to report it.”

To report a wildfire or any signs, BC Wildfire Services asks people to call *5555

READ MORE: North Cowichan wildfire now under control

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Justin WaddellJustin Waddell

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