UPDATE: 5 wildfires remain in Harrison Hot Springs area

An overhead view of the Long Island fire in north Harrison Lake. The fire has spread to cover about 50 hectares, and fire crews have been fighting the blaze day and night. (Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service)
Seven wildfires burn in the northern area of Harrison Lake, all caused by lightning. (Screenshot/B.C. Wildfire Service)Seven wildfires burn in the northern area of Harrison Lake, all caused by lightning. (Screenshot/B.C. Wildfire Service)

Update: Tuesdsay, Aug. 3, 10:53 a.m.

Five wildfires remain burning in the Harrison Hot Springs area after as many as seven at a time ignited due to multiple lightning strikes.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service (BCWS) The Long Island wildfire in the northern half of Harrison Lake has razed about 49 hectares and triggered an evacuation alert, which is, as of Monday evening, still in effect. Five other wildfires were removed from the BCWS map on Monday evening but have been placed back on again as of Tuesday morning.

Fires at Clear Creek (0.2 hectares) Big Silver Creek (3 hectares), Hornet Creek (1 hectare) Cogburn Creek (Minimal), Talc Creek (0.10 hectares) and the largest current local fire, Long Island (49.70 hectares) are out of control. The Talc Creek (0.1 hectares) wildfire and Hornet Creek No. 2 no longer appear on the BCWS map.

According to an update from the BCWS, airtankers were able to drop fire retardant from helicopters to aid firefighters on the ground. Seven BCWS firefighters, 15 contractors, two helicopters and a boat have been used on the biggest blaze of the weekend. BCWS expects three more pieces of equipment to be barged over to the island.

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The evacuation alert for Long Island’s north side has been issued to help prepare residents in the area in the event evacuation becomes necessary. This irder applies to eight cabins on the northern half of the island. Residents will be given as much notice as possible.

Witnesses said Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue volunteers have been going door to door with information.

What you need to do when an evacuation order is in effect:

Upon notification of an evacuation alert, you need to be preparing for an evacuation order by:

  • Locating all family members
  • Designating a place outside of the evacuation area to meet should evacuation occur
  • Gathering essential items like medication, eyeglasses and important documents.
  • Having a plan to move children, the elderly, disabled persons and immobile neighbours. Have supplies, vet records and containment needs for pets and, where applicable, have a plan to move livestock to safety.
  • Arranging transportation and accommodation for family members if possible.

In the event of an evacuation, Emergency Support Services may activate sites for family reunification, referrals to essential service providers and group lodging.

For up-to-the-minute alerts, download Alertable to your mobile device or register for critical alerts via text, email or phone call at www.fvrd.ca/alerts.

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BCWS has an aerial lightning patrol in the area that continue to monitor for fires.

“While lightning patrols are an efficient tool for spotting lightning caused fires, the Coastal Fire Centre is asking anyone in the vicinity who spots a column of smoke to please report it to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell phones,” The BCWS said in a statement.

There have been at least 14 wildfires in the Agassiz-Harrison area since the start of the year. There are currently 247 active wildfires throughout B.C. and a total of 1,312 for the year so far.

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