Households near the Nanaimo Lakes fire are no longer on evacuation alert. (RDN image)

Nanaimo Lakes area no longer on wildfire evacuation alert

Evacuation alert rescinded as firefighters gain 40 per cent containment

Households near the Nanaimo Lakes fire are no longer on evacuation alert.

The Regional District of Nanaimo announced Saturday afternoon that it is rescinding an evacuation order for 77 addresses, and downgrading an evacuation order to an evacuation alert for another area closer to the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire.

B.C. Wildfire Service reports that the fire is now at 182 hectares with 40 per cent containment.

“The crews have made really good progress on it,” said Donna MacPherson, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre. “The fires didn’t react badly to the winds that went through here yesterday, which we were really grateful for.”

She said a lightning storm set off about 13 new fires on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, but that shouldn’t impact firefighting efforts at Nanaimo Lakes.

“We always put the most resources where [the fire] is adjacent to homes and communities, so of course that fire is well-resourced…” MacPherson said. “We’re mobilizing resources to the north where we can, but most of those fires are in a more remote location.”

According to the B.C. Wilfire Service website, crews at the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire have containment on the southeast side of the fire facing homes.

“Nanaimo River Road will remain closed 300 metres on each side of the fire and pilot cars will be used to escort traffic,” the site notes.

A wildfire near Nanaimo is being used as a model to help a B.C. technology firm develop new technology to develop faster and more accurate ways of assessing wildfire spread and damage.

North Vancouver-based Hatfield Consultants is currently gathering satellite data from B.C.’s wildfires to create animated maps of fire spread and burn severity.

For the article, click here.

A fire near Arbutus Ridge, across the Alberni Inlet, is still listed at 20 hectares as of Satuday morning.

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 the article here.

More than 6,000 properties in northern B.C. are under an evacuation alert, leaving hundreds of residents preparing to have to leave their home at a moment’s notice.

BC Wildfire Service has added a handful of new blazes to its Wildfires of Note – defined as ones that are highly visible or have the potential to threaten public safety. The 38 listed include major fires burning in each fire centre across the province.

To read a provincial overview article, click here.

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