NEWS

B.C. fires: Harrison Lake wildfire still growing officials say

08/04/2015 11:28 EDT | Updated 08/04/2016 05:59 EDT
A wildfire near Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., continues to burn uncontrolled and is still growing say officials with the Ministry of Forests.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says it hasn't been able to assess the exact size of the fire on the west side of Harrison Lake due to heavy smoke. But it says the fire more than doubled in size over the weekend to 100 hectares by Monday evening.

"We're going to be reassessing the fire's growth and continue to work toward containment," said Donna MacPherson with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The flames are currently spreading northward, away from the community of Harrison Hot Springs.

MacPherson said wind is fanning the aggressive blaze, blowing smoke and embers, which is making it difficult for fire crews to fight the flames.

About 70 firefighters are working on the fire with four helicopters and heavy machinery. The Martin Mars water bomber was also dropping water on the fire.

The fire is not threatening any homes or structures, but campers at the Wood Lake and Twenty Mile Bay campgrounds were told to evacuate as a precaution.

The B.C. Wildfire Service said the campgrounds aren't directly threatened, but the fire has affected the only road leading into and out of the sites.

RCMP officers have blocked the West Harrison Lake Forest Service Road until further notice.

Human-caused fire started Sunday

The fire started on Sunday afternoon and quickly grew, producing heavy smoke throughout the popular recreational area.

"This area is in high fire danger rating and this fire was human-caused and preventable," said MacPherson.

"We need people to be a lot more vigilant when they're out there and realize that anything they do could cause a spark."

The fire is currently classified as Rank 4, meaning it is aggressive, but still mainly on the ground with short aerial bursts.

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