2017 Forest Fire
Structure protection continues with LLVFD particularly in the lower valley area with grass fires.
The wind is gusting from the north which is creating concern regarding the fire’s direction. We understand that fire activity has increased significantly in the Back Valley area and north of Hat Creek. We understand that Hat Creek has been evacuated now.
The controlled burn at the east end of the lake appears to be on hold while the unfavourable winds are occurring.
Wildfire Protection continues to have extensive resources in the area.
The concern now is whether this change in the wind pattern creates problems over the next 48 hours. So far everything is stable.
Jeff Harrison, President, LLVFDS
Fire fighting continued again today particularly with grass fires in the Lower Valley. LLVFD, Wildfire Protection, Fire Commissioner’s Office as well as Pender Island FD, Cowichan Bay FD, Sooke FD and Victoria FD are all on scene.
Wildfire Protection continues to firebreak the east end of the lake from Marigold on.
We are preparing LLVFD “Returning to Home” and “LLVFD Deployment Post Wildfire” plans. We still are of the opinion it will be 1-2 weeks before the area is reopened by the appropriate authorities. These plans will be posted once they have been finalized.
If people want to do pre reading the TNRD document “Information for Returning Residents”, found on the TNRD website is an excellent resource.
Firefighting has continued in the lower valley near Highway 97 with grass fires on the north side of Loon Lake Road. There are significant resources in place to assist with this as well as LLVFD.
The fire did jump Highway 97 at Loon Lake Road about 3 PM yesterday and remains very active on that side of Highway 97. Evacuations are occurring now on that side of the highway.
Telus has been working hard and is restoring service. They have installed a cell booster and wifi at the Community Hall to assist with its command post function and we are hopeful that this will remain in place. (it looks like it will) please don’t call Telus inquiring about whether your phone is up or not, they are receiving a lot of calls. Service should be fully up today or tomorrow.
Hotspots remain on top of the ridge at the east end of the lake from Marigold to the ranch. Wildfire Protection have firefighters there and are preparing firebreaks and controlled burns.
We are developing plans for “return to home” and for LLVFD deployment in the weeks after we return to our homes. The “return to home” plan will be posted well in advance. We have no jurisdiction over this but think it will be 1-2 weeks, as it all depends on weather and the wildfire’s behaviour.
The efforts to prevent structure loss in the valley have been successful overnight and the fire was stopped from crossing Loon Lake Road. This was thanks to many staff from the Fire Commissioner’s Office and numerous fire departments who will be formally recognized at the appropriate time as well as LLVFD members.
Wildfire Protection is actively fireguarding the area from Marigold to the end of the lake and will be for several days. This includes firebreaks and controlled burning.
There are more than 130 firefighters on scene at the lake today. There are an extensive number of helicopters dropping and air tanker resources are on 15 minute standby. We can’t thank enough the people from Wildfire Protection, other fire departments and the Fire Commissioner’s Office.
A supply run occurred today and all LLVFD members now have radios for safety reasons.
The wind is calm so far today.
The wildfire has entered the valley from the north at about the 5 Km point of Loon Lake Rd to the bottom of the canyon. Structure protection of the farms and buildings there is underway by LLVFD and many fire departments under direction of the Fire Commissioner’s Office. The situation is serious.
The north hillside from Marigold to the end of the lake is going to be firebreaked and then control burned by Wildfire Protection. This is underway right now.
LLVFD members continue to conduct structure protection and spot fire control on a 24/7 basis.
The lower part of Loon Lake Road was re-evacuated last night due to the fire pushing back south on the west flank.
The north hillside did catch fire higher up last night but extensive aerial bombardment by Wildfire Protection prevented structural loss.
Wildfire Protection is conducting extensive firebreak and controlled burn activity.
Canadian Forces are on location on Loon Lake Road and deployed there overnight at the Hwy 97 checkpoint.
Winds are okay right now but are forecast to increase tomorrow.
Everything is static at present with the concern being changes in wind velocity and direction.
LLVFD members, Fire Commissioners Office, Wildfire Protection and firefighters from Saanich, Victoria, Mackenzie, BX-Swan Lake, Lac La Biche and Armstrong remain on scene 24/7 performing structure protection.
There are thousands of feet of hose deployed with sprinklers for protection.
The wind picked up substantially this afternoon and we understand that Clinton is now being evacuated. The north ridge above the lake is burning but extensive retardant bombing is occurring and appears successful. LLVFD will be patrolling all night.
Sent on behalf of Jeff Harrison, President, LLVFDS