Fire burns next to Sproat Lake; tactical evacuation of cabins underway

A water bomber fights a fire on the south end of Sproat Lake on July 5, 2015. Courtesy Janine Linning

UPDATE (July 7, 6: 20 p.m.) – The fire has grown to 125 hectares in size, and is within 60 metres of cabins – but the growth has slowed, say fire officials.

“The retardant dropped by the air tankers yesterday and the water dropped by the helicopters yesterday and today has been effective in slowing the further growth near the cabins,” the BC Wildfire Service said in a statement.

There are crews fighting the fire overnight, and debris is continuing to fall down near the cabins.

“This area is still considered dangerous due to the rolling debris coming downhill from the fire,” says the BC Wildfire Service.

“One of the firefighers working on the fire overnight reported a large boulder rolling down the slope to the cabin level. The public is cautioned that this is a very active and dangerous response area, and they should not approach the area by boat or foot.”

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An uninhabited cabin has burned down.

The fire is suspected to be human-caused.

Crews work to slow the spread of a fire on Dog Mountain near Port Alberni on July 4, 2015. @NatalieHeasman/Twitter


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A fire near Port Alberni is growing quickly and has caused a tactical evacuation of several lakeside cabins.

The flames are on Dog Mountain, on the south end of Sproat Lake Provincial Park.

It began early this afternoon, and was originally a relatively small fire at 1.5 hectares in size. But it has since grown to 5 hectares, says the Coastal Fire Centre.

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They say the fire is now spreading downhill on a steep slope, and RCMP are helping evacuate cabins as a precautionary measure.

Crews on the ground are assisting multiple helicopters and water bombers in fighting the blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A Martin Mars water bomber that fought fires in B.C. for 53 years, before being retired in 2013, is parked next to Sproat Lake.

The irony wasn’t lost by some on social media – but last year the government the government rebuffed calls to keep the bombers in service, saying they were not cost effective.

The fire is believed to be human-caused.

-with files from Jennifer Palma

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