Emergency-operations centre spokeswoman Joanna Winter says the fire is burning south of Nanaimo, B.C., and while the flames are not directly threatening any structures, officials evacuated the homes as a precaution.
Marg Drysdale of the B.C Wildfire Service says 10 firefighters, two helicopters and two officers were called in during the evening to assist an initial three-person attack crew battling the flames.
Mary Marcotte, who represents the area in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, says she can see and smell smoke and has seen trailers leaving the area with livestock.
Winter says the firefighters have set up a perimeter and are battling the 20-hectare blaze from the ground and air.
She says local residents can look for updates watching the municipal website or Facebook page, or by calling 250-245-6417.