Crews are currently battling an approximately 34-hectare fire on Read Island, the smoke from which is was clearly visible from a good distance away even when listed at only 1 hectare on Friday. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Read Island fire now over 30 hectares in size

‘It’ll be a while to get this fire under control’

A lightning-caused fire on Read Island has more than tripled in size between being reported on Friday and Sunday and the fire service says “it’ll be a while to get this fire under control.”

The fire is listed at 34 hectares as of Sunday morning, “however it hasn’t been accurately mapped and the fire size may change,” according to a report shared by the Strathcona Emergency Program on Sunday.

No buildings are being threatened, the report says. There is a lodge about two kilometres away to the west, but the fire is burning away from it towards the east. There are no evacuation orders or alerts being recommended at this time.

The fire, according to the report, is a ground fire “burning rank one to two, which is basically smoking ground with a bit of open flame from knee to hip height.”

Battling the fire has been a challenge, as it is very remote.

“Very steep slopes and the big trees that are providing a heavy canopy cover which is interfering with fixed-wing water drops” the report says. “We did have the skimmers work the fire yesterday and the day before. The crews are having to develop an very long hose lay, almost one kilometre long, from a water source.”

As of Sunday morning, 29 firefighters and six helicopters were working on the fire, and another 20 firefighters and one more helicopter were on the way to help.

We will continue to update the public as more information becomes available.

RELATED: Lightning suspected cause of Read Island wildfire



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