Nanaimo Lakes fire 50% contained, area still under moderate-high risk for new fires

By Spencer Sterritt
July 3, 2018 - 5:29pm Updated: July 3, 2018 - 9:10pm

The Nanaimo Lakes fire expanded from Monday to Tuesday, growing to 14.5 hectares.BC Wildfire Service/Twitter

The Nanaimo Lakes fire before nightfall on Sunday, July 1, the day it was reported.Submitted

NANAIMO — Despite recent rains, the fire threat level for the Nanaimo area remains moderate to high.

A blaze currently burning in the Nanaimo Lakes area grew to 14.5-hectares (nearly 36-acres) by Tuesday afternoon after sparking on Sunday, July 1.

Dorothe Jakobsen with the Coastal Fire Centre told NanaimoNewsNOW the fire is considered held and is expected to be under control in coming days.

Though Canada Day finished with showers across the area, Jakobsen said it wasn't enough to substantially reduce the risk of a fire.

“In our beautiful forests, the canopy can be really thick,” she said. “You can stand in a forest in a rainstorm and not get wet.”

June is considered a crucial month for fire safety, with the rains generally informing fire prevention staff what they can expect during the hot summer months.

Jakobsen said the Coastal region is in line with the 10-year average of roughly 50 human-caused fires and nearly 10 sparked by lightning strikes. She noted there were already several lightning-caused fires early in the season which were quickly extinguished.

“Even though it's been raining, any gardener will know it takes a lot of water to soak through. We want people to be very careful out there.”

Anyone hiking or exploring the forests is asked to make sure any fire they start is safely and thoroughly put out before they move on. Carrying water and a shovel to smother any fires is also recommended.

If anyone spots a fire in the wilderness, they're urged to dial *5555 to inform the BC Wildfire Service.

 

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On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit

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