A helicopter drops a bucket of water on a fire on Arbutus Ridge Saturday, Aug. 11. Controlled burning is expected to take place on Sunday. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

New wildfire reported near North Taylor Arm in Alberni Valley

Number of human-caused fires a “concern”

Although Vancouver Island received some rain this weekend, it wasn’t enough to halt the fires burning in the Alberni Valley.

A new fire was reported near the North Taylor Arm of Sproat Lake on Saturday night, and Port Alberni Fire Department crews were dispatched to the area Sunday morning. The fire is reportedly 0.2 hectares in size, and appears to be contained. It is also suspected to be human-caused.

A release from the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) on Sunday morning expressed concern about the number of person-caused fires in the Alberni Valley.

“Crews had to be pulled from the Arbutus Summit fire to respond to the North Taylor Arm which has slowed the progress on the fire guards for the Arbutus fire,” the release states.

Anyone with information about the cause of these fires is asked to contact Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424.

Meanwhile, crews made good progress on a 25-hectare fire near Arbutus Ridge on Saturday, developing guards along the sides of the fire and using controlled burns. The fire guards held overnight, and BC Wildfire Service crews, along with two helicopters and heavy equipment, will continue to work on the site.

More smoke from this area can be expected today as controlled burning takes place.

The Lacy Lake fire on the Beaufort Range is now in the clean-up stage. Beaver Creek and Sproat Lake volunteer fire departments are still on scene, while Cherry Creek Fire Department has been released.

The storm that travelled down Vancouver Island on Saturday brought with it lightning, as well as more than a dozen new fires on Vancouver Island. Most are located on the North Island, but one has been recorded near Nanaimo.

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