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Environment Canada warns of 'significant fall storm' for Vancouver Island

Large ocean waves crash against the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Port Renfrew, on Nov. 15, 2020. (TJ Watt Photography) Large ocean waves crash against the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Port Renfrew, on Nov. 15, 2020. (TJ Watt Photography)

A fall windstorm is expected to hit Vancouver Island this weekend, according to forecasters.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement covering all of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast north of Saltery Bay.

The weather service says the "significant fall storm" front will arrive Sunday night, bringing rain and winds gusting up to 90 km/h over northern and western Vancouver Island.

Southern Vancouver Island and B.C.'s South Coast will see wind gusts between 60 and 80 km/h, as will areas along the Strait of Georgia, Environment Canada says.

Western Vancouver Island is expected to see the highest rainfall with accumulation estimated at 50 millimetres, while eastern Vancouver Island will see 30 millimetres of rain and Greater Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands will see between 10 and 20 millimetres, according to the weather agency.

Wind warnings may be issued for select regions as the storm system nears, Environment Canada says.

"Strong winds may result in falling tree branches and local power outages," the special weather statement said.

Extended forecasts for much of the rest of the province also call for clouds, showers and rain over the coming week, but officials have said extended periods of significant rainfall will be needed to ease the drought that has gripped B.C. since last summer.

The BC Wildfire Service says just under 400 active fires are burning in the province, with 146 of them rated as out of control and 147 listed as being held, meaning they are unlikely to spread beyond current containment lines.

Residents are advised to check their local forecasts and report severe weather via email to or tweet reports using the hashtag #BCStorm.

With a file from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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