Wildfire crews dealing with lightning-sparked fires on Vancouver Island
VANCOUVER -- Lightning has sparked nearly two dozen wildfires across Southern British Columbia this weekend, including two on Vancouver Island.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were 37 active fires in the province, according to the province's online wildfire dashboard. Twenty-three of those fires were caused by lightning.
While there are currently no wildfires of note in B.C., according to the BC Wildfire Service, crews across the province are working to ensure it stays that way.
In the Interior, ground crews and air support are responding to four fires that are visible from the Revelstoke area, all of which are located either on or near Mount Begbie, according to an online update from the Southeast Fire Centre on Sunday.
The largest of these fires is estimated at 0.1 hectares in size.
Both air and ground crews are also working on the Burton Creek fire, which is located approximately 35 kilometres south of Nakusp and is also about 0.1 hectares in size.
Crews in the Southeast Fire Centre were strategically placed on standby in anticipation of the possibility of thunderstorms involving minimal rain this weekend, the centre said.
On Vancouver Island, two new fires were sparked during recent thunderstorms, as was one fire on Quadra Island, according to the Coastal Fire Centre.
The most concerning blazes are burning about 45 kilometres southwest of Nanaimo on Green Mountain, which is home to a small population of endangered Vancouver Island Marmots.
The larger of the two fires is about 15 hectares in size, according to Coastal Fire Centre, which tells CTV News Vancouver Island crews are making good progress in fighting the flames.
A total of 45 crew members and four helicopters are responding to the Green Mountain blaze.
With firefighters working hard to control the lightning-sparked fires around B.C., fire officials are asking the public to stay vigilant and be responsible with any campfires this weekend.
"We certainly continue to ask the public to be very careful when they're out in our wonderful forests and practice good safety around open fire," said Dorothe Jakobsen, fire information officer for Coastal Fire Centre.
Good safety practices include keeping campfires no larger than half a metre in any dimension, keeping a fuel break around all campfires and having water and a shovel handy.
Never leave a campfire unattended, and always ensure that the ashes are cool to the touch before leaving a fire, Jakobsen said.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit the BC Wildfire Service website.