Dog Mountain fire grows to 35 hectares

The fire near Sproat Lake is suspected to be human-caused, according to the B.C. Coastal Fire Service.

A Coulson Sikorsky S-61 drops water on the 35 hectare fire raging on Dog Mountain at Sproat Lake this morning.

A Coulson Sikorsky S-61 drops water on the 35 hectare fire raging on Dog Mountain at Sproat Lake this morning.

The fire raging on Dog Mountain at Sproat Lake has reached approximately 35 hectares size, according to the B.C. Coastal Fire Centre.

The CFC suspects the blaze, which started near the top of the mountain and has now reached the lake shore in some areas, is human-caused.

The fire has grown exponentially, from one-and-half hectares at 4 p.m. Saturday to five by 6:30 p.m. to 35 hectares by July 5.

“This fire is burning aggressively on the top of a mountain, surrounded by steep terrain on all sides,” a CFC statement reads.

“Overnight, the fire continued to back down the hillside, and is now within 60 meters of the cabins.”

Air tankers and helicopters have been battling the blaze since yesterday afternoon. Three helicopters and 21 firefighters have been assigned to the fire. Coulson’s helicopter is on duty.

“The B.C. Fire Service has hired one of our Sikorsky S-61,s so we are preparing fuel truck for a dispatch out of town,” Wayne Coulson said. This is the second summer that the Coulson Group Mars waterbombers haven’t been contracted by the province.

“Air Tankers dropped retardant on the fire on Saturday, which has the ability to retard the movement of the fire when either wet or dry,” a CFC statement reads.

“Helicopters, including a heavy helicopter, are also bucketing on the fire to cool hot spots and reduce fire behaviour.”

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has activated a level one operations centre to provide support for the forestry fire service’s response to the Dog Mountain fire.

Cabins, cottages and the scene of the fire are to be evacuated and citizens are asked to stay clear of the fire. Boat traffic is asked to avoid the area and keep clear of firefighting apparatus, especially helicopters using Sproat Lake as their water source.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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