Lightning sparks ‘out of control’ wildfire on Vancouver Island

Photo supplied by Pixabay.

Various lightning strikes over the weekend sparked multiple wildfires on Vancouver Island, including a larger fire on the north Island.

Coastal Fire Centre information officer Nadia Linning says about 14 fires are active in the centre, with eight on Vancouver Island.

While many are considered minor and under a hectare in size, a fire near Nimpkish River has grown to 25 hectares.

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Linning says the fire has grown to its size because it is in difficult-to-access terrain. She adds this means fire crews have to take a “modified response” to combat the blaze.

“When we decide to do a modified response it’s established based on a mix of different factors and that includes considerations for crew safety, distance from communities and the accessibility of the terrain,” said Linning.

“Once we’ve determined this is the best way to manage a fire we use a combination of techniques and monitor and steer and contain the fire within a pre-determined perimeter.”

Lining says they have trigger points in place that could change how the fire is approached by crews and could be influenced by weather and how the fire changes and grows.

The Coastal Fire Centre appears to be on par for wildfires caused by lightning this year in comparison to years previous, according to Linning.

As the summer months come closer to an end, the Coastal Fire Centre is urging others to follow the campfire prohibitions as human-caused wildfires are preventable.

“We’ve had a Category 2 and Category 3 open burning prohibition in effect since July 15 and a campfire prohibition since Aug. 4,” said Linning. “It’s really important we’re all respecting these prohibitions just because human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and they divert resources away from lightning-caused fires.”

Linning adds the public can use the BC Wildfire Service app to keep up to date with fire prohibitions and risks and report wildfires.

If you see a wildfire, you are also encouraged to call 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 on a cell phone.