A 15-hectare fire that was discovered north of Squamish has grown more than eight times in size over the past 24 hours.
Located in the Elaho Valley, it was earlier reported that the fire was human-caused. It is still not clear how the fire started, though B.C. wildfire updates have determined that it was not due to any industrial operations in the area.
“It grew substantially in the last two days largely because there’s been some extreme fire behavior due to the dry condition and the fuel types in the area,” said fire information officer Donna MacPherson.
Wildfires normally do not start until mid-July, and their season runs until August.
MacPherson said we have had an unusually dry month of June, which has prompted the fire season to start early.
“Our fires to date for 2015 are 70, and our 10 year average is 38,” said MacPherson.
The fire is burning upward, and is on a very steep slope which makes it hard for the crew at the scene to locate the outline of the fire. The fire does not pose a threat to any nearby cities or towns, though McPherson said many smoke reports were received from Squamish. Due to the fire’s size and the wind, the smoke will be more visible in Pemberton today.
Currently, there are 50 firefighters, one helicopter co-ordinator, five helicopters, two excavators, two officers, a water tender and four fallers on site.