Properties evacuated, air quality worsens as fires rage on Vancouver Island
People living in six properties on the east side of Pandora Hill have been ordered to leave their homes, while many of the remaining residents have been instructed to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
The size of the fire is mostly unchanged from the weekend but the blaze is considered to be zero per cent contained.
The fire has been challenging because it's burning on steep terrain with difficult and unsafe access for firefighting crews.
Ten firefighters and two helicopters have been dispatched to the area.
Further north, a fire burning at Pinder Creek had grown to an estimated 200 hectares Monday afternoon.
The lightning-caused blaze was discovered Aug. 11, and is only 10 per cent contained, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
Seventeen firefighters and three helicopters are dispatched to that fire as crews try to thin out trees along the Zeballos Fire Service Road to strengthen containment efforts.
The fire is not threatening any homes or other structures and isn't growing toward the road or hydro lines, the fire service said.
Dozens of firefighters are also struggling to contain a 10-hectare wildfire burning further north at Larry Lake near Port Alice.
The blaze, also discovered Aug. 11, is only five per cent contained and is threatening power and phone lines.
Thirty-one firefighters, two helicopters and two pieces of heavy equipment continue to battle the blaze, which is burning in steep slopes above Highway 30.
The fire isn't as large as some of the others, but appears dramatic in pictures taken by photographer Jon Liland.
Liland says the community of Port Alice has been dealing with power outages and extremely smoky air.
Smoke risk 'very high' for much of Vancouver Island
B.C.'s Air Quality Health Index lists much of Vancouver Island as a "high" or "very high" health risk due to the amount of fine particulates in the air.
Residents as far south as Victoria have been complaining of eye and lung irritation amid the smoky skies.
The thick haze also grounded flights into and out of Victoria's Harbour Air terminal Monday, with the company citing poor visibility.
Air Quality Advisories remain in effect for the island and much of the province, and the haze is expected to linger for most of the week.
Smoke hanging heavy over the @crd_bc as air quality ratings hit a level 7 or high. On the west shore the view from the #Esquimalt Lagoon is totally obstructed, and many here complaining of eye and lung irritation. @CTVNewsVI #BCWildfire pic.twitter.com/98lg5OhsLG— Scott Cunningham (@CTVNewsScott) August 20, 2018
Hazy photo gallery of an island bathed in smoke. #smoke #BCwildfire— Scott Cunningham (@CTVNewsScott) August 20, 2018
- Eerie Esquimalt Lagoon
-National Rugby 7s star Bianca Farella dawns a mask to make it through practice
- B.C. legislature under a hazy sky
- Smokey contemplation on Mt. Doug pic.twitter.com/H4EpAanZ8F