Wildfire near Nanaimo forces evacuations; fire near Port Alberni under control
An out of control wildfire southwest of Nanaimo is prompting evacuation orders and alerts from the district.
According to Coastal Fire Centre, the fire broke out Sunday afternoon and spread to 131 hectares.
The Regional District of Nanaimo has declared a state of local emergency and issued an evacuation order just before 9 p.m. Monday for properties west of the fire. Additionally, evacuation alerts have been issued to 77 properties near the eastern flank of the fire.
The BC Wildfire Service says six helicopters and 55 firefighters are currently working on the fire, which is suspected to be human-caused.
Another wildfire on the island is being held back and under control.
The Sproat Lake Fire Department and eight firefighters from the BC Wildfire Service are keeping a 2.1-hectare fire northwest of Port Alberni contained.
The fire started south of Turtle Lake and is also suspected to be human-caused and is under investigation.
The wildfire service lists the fire danger rating in both areas as extreme as is most of the island. The west coast and northern parts of the island have a high danger rating.
The wildfire service also says more than 450 fires are burning across B.C., with concerning fires in each of the province’s six wildfire centres.
Environment Canada has issued heat warnings and special weather statements for large parts of B.C. Conditions are not expected to ease until later in the week.
With files from The Canadian Press.