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Wildfire burning 4.5 km from Ladysmith, B.C. grows to 20 hectares

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfire update: 1,528 fires so far this season' B.C. wildfire update: 1,528 fires so far this season
Favourable conditions over the past few days have allowed crews to get a better handle on a number of fires burning around the province. But while some progress is being made,officials say we're far from in the clear. Emad Agahi reports – Aug 19, 2021

Wildfire crews on Vancouver Island will be on the ground overnight battling a new blaze just 4.5 kilometres northwest of Ladysmith.

BC Wildfire Service fire information officer Gordon Robinson said hot dry weather and gusty winds helped the fire balloon to 20 hectares in size, from just two hectares this afternoon.

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The fire was burning west, away from Ladysmith and no structures were immediately threatened, but Robinson said crews were on alert due to its proximity to the city.

There was FortisBC infrastructure about 1.2-2 kilometres from the fire’s perimeter, Robinson said, but crews were on scene and the equipment was not considered threatened as of Thursday.

Click to play video: 'B.C. public safety minister thanks firefighters helping fire-affected communities' B.C. public safety minister thanks firefighters helping fire-affected communities
B.C. public safety minister thanks firefighters helping fire-affected communities – Aug 19, 2021

The fire is also about 2.5 kilometres west of Highway 1 near North Oyster and four kilometres south-southwest of the Nanaimo Airport.

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Ten firefighters, a contract crew, four helicopters and several pieces of heavy equipment, with support from air tankers, were working the fire.

Robinson said that while the island had been largely spared from the worst of the fire season, it wasn’t out of the woods yet.

Read more: ‘Fatigue is something we are concerned about’: B.C. wildfire crews continue to give their all

“That bit of rain and cooler temperature we’ve had has helped, but especially on the southern and eastern areas of Vancouver Island we are still in extreme fire danger,” he said.

“Almost all the rest of the island is in high or extreme as well. It will take a lot more rain than we’ve had so far to make a big difference.”

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