Helicopters drop buckets of water on a wildfire above the Alberni Inlet on Saturday, Aug. 11. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Fires continue to burn in the Alberni Valley

BC Wildfire Service has trouble with wind

A fire near Arbutus Ridge, across the Alberni Inlet, is listed at 25 hectares as of Saturday afternoon (Saturday, Aug. 11).

The fire, which grew from five hectares to 20 on Friday, was active overnight and is still visible. Crews have had difficulty containing the fire because of winds.

READ: Wind a concern as Arbutus Ridge fire grows to 20 hectares

“The winds gave us some trouble overnight,” said Coastal Fire Centre Fire Information Officer Donna MacPherson.

Although some lightning was spotted near the ridge overnight, MacPherson said this did not affect the fire.

An initial attack crew from BC Wildfire Service was sent out to the fire on Saturday morning, along with two helicopters dropping buckets of water from “Bambi Buckets.”

On Friday evening, a fire on the Beaufort Range above Cherry Creek was 80 percent contained, and the city of Port Alberni posted an update on Saturday morning that the fire had been quiet throughout the night. Volunteers from Beaver Creek, Sproat Lake and Cherry Creek fire departments were working on the fire Saturday. A fire on Turtle Lake Road, east of Great Central Lake, is still under control.

A fire near Yellow Creek was reported on Friday evening, but MacPherson said it turned out to be a false alarm.

“That was just smoke,” she said. “There was nothing there.”

Despite rumours circulating on social media that a “firebug” had been apprehended in the Alberni Valley, MacPherson says that all the fires are still under investigation.

“They’re all human caused and under investigation, but that’s all we know now,” she said.

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