Wildfire still burning in “tinder-dry conditions” north of Campbell River

August 4, 2016

By: CHEK News

A wildfire burning north of Campbell River is proving very tough for crews to tackle.

Dry conditions, steep terrain, slopes of fallen timber are fueling a blaze that has already consumed hectares of forest, blanketing the region with smoke and putting residents on alert.

Resident Cody Card explains that “this whole entire mountainside…this whole ridge here was complete engulfed in smoke. So it was pretty scary.”

Card is not sure how safe the ground he stands on is right now.

“See how dusty it is…” he admits.

After calling in the wildfire burning in the forest beyond his north Island home Tuesday, he says that he “could see the whole mountain was completely smoked out…

“Helicopters were coming completely over top of my head here and yeah it was pretty terrifying.

“Pretty terrifying to see the helicopters continuously coming overhead.”

The wildfire is still burning out of control.

“I am 100 per cent surrounded by forest here yeah” says Card. “So it was pretty terrifying to think of losing my property.”

The fire is burning twenty-five kilometres north of Campbell River, in an area that unlike other regions of Vancouver Island, hasn’t seen rain all summer.

And in these dry conditions with wilderness and forest that seem to stretch as far as the eye can see, this wildfire had already grown to seven hectares by mid-Wednesday.

The wildfire is only twenty per cent contained.

“It’s like kindling out here.”

Twenty-four firefighters are on the ground, and three pieces of heavy machinery are on it. But still Card is standing by, preparing to evacuate his property.

“Even when I woke up this morning I woke up and the whole mountain was smoked out again and you just don’t know.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but residents tell CHEK News, the night before was full of lightning.

“It was a lightning show of a lifetime out there. It was just beautiful, but I’m assuming that sparked something.”

The Coastal Fire Centre says it could be another two to three days before this wildfire is contained, and before Card will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing his home is safe.

 

By: CHEK News

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