UPDATE: Nanaimo River Rd. fire remains uncontained, continues to grow

By Dominic Abassi
August 5, 2018 - 8:25pm Updated: August 8, 2018 - 5:54pm

A wildfire considered out of control along Nanaimo River Rd. is estimated at around five-acres in size.Jana Marie/Facebook

Smoke billowing into the sky as seen from Nanaimo River Rd. around 4 p.m. Sunday.Holly Tribble/NanaimoNewsNOW

The sky was tinted orange late Sunday evening.Submitted/Marissa Murray

NANAIMO — Note to readers: This story won't be updated. For the latest details on the fire, please follow this story.


The fire continues to grow and is now listed at 320-acres (121ha).

Evacuation alerts and orders are in place. Details on those here.

The next official update is expected around 7 a.m. Tuesday unless conditions change suddenly overnight.



EARLIER: (8:30 p.m., Monday Aug. 6):

The BC Wildfire Service says the Nanaimo River Rd. fire continues to grow and burn out of control.

As of Monday evening, the fire grew to roughly 260-acres (107ha), up from 123-acres Monday morning.

The personnel working the fire were assisted by air tankers Monday, the Wildfire Service said.

There are still no evacuation alerts or orders in place for any area residents.

The Wildfire Service said the blaze is not surrounded by containment lines and could still grow.

Nanaimo River Rd. remains closed at South Forks Rd.

TimberWest confirmed its campsite at First Lake was evacuated Monday morning, although the fire was a fair distance away from the campsites.


EARLIER (9:15 a.m., Monday Aug. 6):

A wildfire burning near Nanaimo River Rd. grew significantly overnight and is still considered out of control.

The BC Wildfire Service's Natasha Broznitsky told NanaimoNewsNOW the blaze was estimated to be 123-acres (50 hectares) in size, up from Sunday's estimated size of five-acres.

The fire is near the road, between First Lake and the junction of South Forks Rd. and Nanaimo River Rd.

Broznitsky said crews worked through the night to establish control lines and performed controlled burns to eliminate fuel for the fire.

The team working the scene grew significantly as well, with 36 firefighters now working the area, as opposed to just eight on Sunday when it was first reported. Air tanker support may be called in Monday, Broznitsky said, to join five helicopters and two pieces of heavy machinery.

She said the Wildfire Service has not recommended any evacuation orders or alerts for area residents and "there are no threats to communities at this time."

Smoke from the fire will continue to be highly visible around Nanaimo throughout the day, Broznitsky said.


EARLIER (8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5):

The BC Wildfire Service says a fire burning along Nanaimo River Rd. is uncontained and could grow.

Communications assistant Natasha Broznitsky said the wildfire is estimated at five-acres in size. The Wildfire Service's online map placed the fire near the road, between First Lake and the junction of South Forks Rd. and Nanaimo River Rd.

Broznitsky said five helicopters and eight personnel were assigned to the fire, which was reported in the early afternoon on Aug. 5.

Marissa Murray said she was driving to a river spot around 4:30 p.m. Sunday when she saw the smoke billowing into the sky. She said a truck heading away from the lakes with its hazards on stopped beside them.

"He was saying there was a fire ahead and we should turn around if we didn't want to be scorched."

There were several reports online of traffic being turned around on the road, however Broznitsky said she didn't have any information about road conditions.

The online map showed the fire as person-caused. Broznitsky said the cause was under investigation.


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On Twitter: @domabassi

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