A helicopter drops water on wildfires burning just outside the village of Zeballos. The BC Wildfire Service said on Monday that choppers had been grounded due to heavy smoke, but that the blaze wasn’t approaching homes. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

A helicopter drops water on wildfires burning just outside the village of Zeballos. The BC Wildfire Service said on Monday that choppers had been grounded due to heavy smoke, but that the blaze wasn’t approaching homes. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Wildfires continued to burn around Zeballos and its only access road on Monday, but the provincial wildfire authority said the fire directly outside the tiny logging town was “burning away from the village.”

“The fire isn’t coming any closer to town, which is great news,” said Lynn Wheeler, an information officer with the BC Wildfire Service.

Several homes remained under an evacuation order, and the rest of the town was on an evacuation alert, meaning that residents must be prepared to leave on a moment’s notice.

The fire was estimated at 90 hectares in size by Monday afternoon. That suggests that the fire hadn’t grown since Saturday, when the village issued an evacuation order for six homes.

However, it’s hard to get up-to-date estimates because helicopter resources are stretched so thin, said Wheeler.

“We can’t afford to send helicopters up just to estimate the size of fires, because they’re all busy fighting fires,” said Wheeler.

There are currently 65 wildfires burning north of Campbell River.

“We just cannot spare the resources,” she said.

She noted that the Zeballos blaze remains an out-of-control wildfire, the only containment being on the edge of town.

A crew of 10 firefighters was on-site, while helicopters were grounded due to heavy smoke.

“As soon as the smoke clears, we’ll be up in the air bucketing again,” Wheeler said.

Firefighters were still trying to protect homes from rolling debris, including rocks and burning trees.

Sprinkler systems were being used to protect structures, and firefighters were patrolling the community to deal with any burning debris that may roll into town.

READ MORE: Evacuation order issued for six homes in Zeballos due to ‘risk of falling debris’

READ MORE: East Zeballos placed under evacuation alert as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Despite the evacuation order issued by the village on Saturday, the fire isn’t an immediate threat to the community, according to the BC Wildfire Service. However, steep terrain has made the area hazardous for firefighters.

As for the fire at Pinder Creek, located just beside the logging road that serves as the town’s only access route, it had reached an estimated 200 hectares by Monday afternoon. That’s compared to 105 hectare just a few days ago.

The Pinder Creek fire, which is burning in heavy slash and timber, was only 10 per cent contained and there were 17 firefighters working on controlling the fire’s northern edge.

“They’re obviously trying to keep the road open and also [trying to] save the hydro poles, many of which are wood,” Wheeler said.

The fire is located roughly 15 km south of the Island Highway, on the Zeballos Mainline forest service road.

Crews have been working to create a firebreak by cutting down trees along the road, resulting in periodic road closures. The logging road is being closed for periods of perhaps 15 minutes to allow the fallers to work on the road, a process that may continue until as late as August 27.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s first case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Harvest Food Bank’s Zero Waste program. (Travis Winterwed file photo)
Zero waste program continues to drastically help the North Island

The zero waste program means that Save-On Foods no longer throws anything out.

Black Press file photo
Investigation at burned Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

“it’s believed that the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby is the deceased”

The Rein Forest Riders fence in Hyde Creek was damaged by a vehicle on the night of Jan. 15. (Lynn Iskra Facebook photo)
Port McNeill RCMP looking for suspect who damaged Rein Forest Riders property in Hyde Creek

“it’s certainly unfortunate, and it’s going to be a tough one because nobody saw anything.”

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Most Read