UPDATE: The wildfire near Ladysmith isn’t expected to burn any more forest on Mt. Hayes.
B.C. Wildfire Service posted on social media in the late afternoon Sunday, Aug. 22, that the fire is now classified as being held.
“A fire that is ‘being held’ has received sufficient suppression action that it is not likely to spread further under forecasted conditions,” noted the post.
B.C. Wildfire Service said holding the fire is an “important milestone,” but noted that crews will have lots of “hard, physical work” ahead of them dealing with hot spots and turning over and wetting down earth as the fire has burned into the ground.
“Smoke will likely remain visible until the fire has been declared out,” B.C. Wildfire added in a subsequent post.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District has downgraded evacuation orders at the Fortis B.C. LNG facility and the Bush Creek Fish Hatchery to evacuation alerts, and addresses on Takala, David and Ivey roads will remain on evacuation alert, according to a CVRD news release.
“Further progress was achieved…” the release noted. “Sufficient suppression action has been taken and the fire is unlikely to spread beyond its current boundaries under the forecasted conditions.”
The CVRD says the area around the Mt. Hayes wildfire will continued to be under a state of local emergency.
PREVIOUSLY POSTED: B.C. Wildfire Service says it will be working today, Aug. 22, to establish a “control line” around the perimeter of the Mt. Hayes wildfire near Ladysmith.
The fire started Thrusday, Aug. 19, and has burned 73 hectares and necessitated evacuation alerts and orders for nearby properties. Addresses on Takala Road, David Road and Ivey Road remain on evacuation alert.
“BCWS is actively working to create a 20-foot control line involving the use of fireguards,” noted a press release Sunday, Aug. 22, from the Cowichan Valley Regional District. “Light winds in the weather forecast on Sunday are not expected to impact the progress made by fire crews up until this point.”
The CVRD said B.C. Wildfire Service will have 56 firefighters and four officers at Mt. Hayes, as well as three helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment including water tenders and excavators.
The regional district also warns that people nearby should reduce risk of experiencing symptoms related to exposure to wildfire smoke, and directs people to Island Health’s website for more information.