RDN issues evacuation order, alert for area near Nanaimo River Rd. wildfire

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
August 6, 2018 - 10:11pm Updated: August 8, 2018 - 5:54pm

Firefighters are trying to get a handle on an out of control wildfire near Nanaimo River Rd.Sarah Mcalpine/Facebook

The area in red is under an evacuation order. The area in yellow is on alert. The fire is outlined in orange.Submitted/RDN

Thick smoke is making life tough for firefighters on scene. It's also spreading all over the region.Sarah Mcalpine/Facebook

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

 

The Regional District of Nanaimo has declared a state of local emergency, ordering an area near a wildfire evacuated and placing nearly 100 homes on alert.

The evacuation order applies to a large area west of the fire. RDN board chair Bill Veenhof said it's believed there are no homes or residences in the area under orders to leave, however there is believed to be some people camping in the bush.

"The fire continues to grow, it is not under control at this point," Veenhof said. "As a consequence of the risk to campers and a potential risk to residences in the area, we implemented the state of emergency."

Meanwhile, 77 homes east of the fire are under an evacuation alert, meaning they should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice.

The alert covers:

  • Elk Trails Way from 2515-2630
  • Nanaimo River Road from 1565-2665
  • South Forks Road from 2375-2710
  • Twilight Way from 2728-2796

RCMP will be enforcing the evacuation order and others will go door-to-door notifying people in the alert zone.

Veenhof said it's hard to predict which way the fire might move, urging residents on alert to be "prepared to move at a moment's notice." He said City of Nanaimo staff are also monitoring the situation because the City's water treatment plant is in the area under alert.

The fire along Nanaimo River Rd. was first reported on Sunday and was originally listed at just five-acres. By Monday morning it grew to 123-acres and then more than doubled in size to roughly 260-acres (107ha) by Monday evening. As of late Monday, the fire was estimated at 320-acres (131ha).

The BC Wildfire Service said the fire is considered out of control and is not contained. Ground personnel were assisted by air tankers on Monday, as well as five helicopters.

TimberWest evacuated people from its campsite near First Lake early Monday morning. Nanaimo River Rd. is closed at the junction with South Forks Rd.

A Facebook page called Help Nanaimo Fires 2018 has been established, with people offering help and accommodations.

 

What to do when an alert is in effect:

  • Locate all family members or co-workers and designate an agreed to meeting place, outside the evacuation area, should an evacuation be called while separated.
  • Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e. insurance), immediate care needs for dependents and, if you choose, keepsakes (photographs, etc.). Have these items readily available for quick departure.
  • Prepare to move any disabled persons and/or children.
  • Move pets and livestock to a safe area.
  • Arrange to transport your household members or co-workers in the event of an evacuation order. If you need transportation assistance from the area please call 911.
  • Arrange accommodation for your family if possible. In the event of an evacuation, reception centres will be opened if required.

 

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