Multiple lightning strikes north of Harrison Hot Springs ignited at least nine wildfires on the B.C. Day long weekend and in the days that followed.
As of press time, seven wildfires are burning – four out of control, two new and one under control.
The Clear Creek (0.2 hectares), Hornet Creek No. 1 (1 hectare), Big Silver Creek (3 hectares) and Long Island (49.7 hectares) fires are all out of control as of press time.
The Long Island fire triggered an evacuation alert for the island’s north side and involves eight cabins. Residents will be given as much notice as possible. Witnesses said Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue volunteers were going door to door with information.
According to an update from the BCWS, airtankers were able to drop fire retardant from helicopters to aid firefighters on the ground. Seven BCWS firefighters, 15 contractors, two helicopters and a boat have been used on the biggest blaze of the weekend. BCWS expects three more pieces of equipment to be barged over to the island.
The Cogburn Creek fire (minimal size) is under control. Clear Creek No.2 (minimal size) and Hornet Creek No. 3 (minimal size) were discovered on Tuesday (Aug. 3), both likely caused by lightning.
What you need to do when an evacuation order is in effect:
Upon notification of an evacuation alert, you need to be preparing for an evacuation order by:Locating all family members
Designating a place outside of the evacuation area to meet should evacuation occur
Gathering essential items like medication, eyeglasses and important documents.
Having a plan to move children, the elderly, disabled persons and immobile neighbours. Have supplies, vet records and containment needs for pets and, where applicable, have a plan to move livestock to safety.
Arranging transportation and accommodation for family members if possible.
In the event of an evacuation, Emergency Support Services may activate sites for family reunification, referrals to essential service providers and group lodging.
For up-to-the-minute alerts, download Alertable to your mobile device or register for critical alerts via text, email or phone call at www.fvrd.ca/alerts.
BCWS has an aerial lightning patrol in the area that continue to monitor for fires.
“While lightning patrols are an efficient tool for spotting lightning caused fires, the Coastal Fire Centre is asking anyone in the vicinity who spots a column of smoke to please report it to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell phones,” The BCWS said in a statement.
There have been at least 16 wildfires in the Agassiz-Harrison area since the start of the year. As of publication, There are currently 269 active wildfires throughout B.C. and a total of 1,345 for the year so far.