Snuffed out: Nanaimo Lakes wildfire 100 per cent contained

By Ian Holmes
August 30, 2018 - 4:23pm Updated: August 30, 2018 - 5:46pm

The Nanaimo Lakes wildfire has been extinguished, while a few hot spots remain.Mathew Foster

NANAIMO — The occasional smouldering patch of smoke is all that remains from of one of the largest wildfires Nanaimo crews have faced in years.

Dorthe Jakobsen of the BC Wildfire Service said the 450-acre Nanaimo Lakes blaze is 100 per cent contained and monitored by five firefighters as of Thursday, Aug. 30. She said “very little smoke or heat” is reported by crews on the ground.

“We're looking for smoke and we're looking for hot spots, areas that are throwing off heat and if we find any then we're dealing with those,” Jakobsen told NanaimoNewsNOW.

Jakobsen said their crews will patrol the area indefinitely until there are no more smoke and hot spots.

She said the suspected person-caused fire was well handled by their crews from the beginning.

“It was a very well-done fire in terms of suppression activities, it was brought under control rather quickly,”

The Nanaimo Lakes fire was first discovered on Aug. 5 and quickly spread, requiring an army of more than 50 firefighters, helicopters and heavy equipment.

An evacuation alert issued on Aug. 6 for 77 homes east of the fire was held in place until Aug. 11. Campers at Nanaimo Lakes were evacuated shortly after the fire was discovered, while a group of people primarily camping in the bush in another nearby area were also cleared out.

It was a devastating summer for forest fires in most parts of B.C., including Vancouver Island.

The province announced this week nearly 13,000 square kilometers of land had burned this year, surpassing the previous record-setting season established last year.

About 3,200 people were forced from their homes around B.C. due to wildfires this summer, while the province-wide state of emergency was extended through Sept. 12.

Roughly 50 fires were burning on Vancouver Island as of late Thursday, according to the BC Wildfire Service. Most of the island's fires are on the rural north island's interior between Zeballos and Port Alice.

 

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