Lightning sparks out-of-control wildfire on Vancouver Island

A lightning strike has sparked an out-of-control wildfire on northern Vancouver Island.

The fire was discovered Sunday near Tahsish-Kwois Provincial Park in a remote area southeast of Port Alice.

The wildfire had grown to approximately one-third of a hectare in size by Monday morning.

Coastal Fire Centre spokesperson Donna MacPherson says wildfire crews are on site and are “making good progress” in tackling the blaze.

The fire is currently the only out-of-control wildfire on the island after two fires near Port Renfrew were extinguished over the weekend.

“Our crews were able to get to them and get them out very quickly,” MacPherson told CFAX 1070 on Monday.

The wildfire spokesperson warned that the entire island region is currently at very high risk of wildfires due to ongoing hot and dry weather.

A human-caused fire near Cherry Creek Road in the Port Alberni area is the only other large fire in the island region Monday. The fire has grown to two hectares in size but is largely under control, according to the Coastal Fire Centre.

“We are pleasantly surprised that we haven’t had more human-caused fires than we expected this weekend,” MacPherson said.

The wildfire service is reminding residents and travellers on Vancouver Island to avoid open-burning and other behaviours that risk sparking a wildfire until the region sees significant rainfall.

MacPherson said the Coastal Fire Centre has sent approximately 100 firefighting personnel to B.C.’s Interior, where wildfires have already turned deadly.