UPDATE: Harrison Lake fire continues to grow

A fire north of Harrison Hot Springs continued to burn aggressively Tuesday.

Strong winds on Monday and overnight have helped dramatically expanded the size of the wildfire, burning in a popular recreation area near Wood Lake.

The fire is now estimated at 600 hectares .

Fire officials say the blaze may be even larger; thick smoke is making it difficult to determine the exact perimeter of the fire.

The massive Martin Mars water bomber was called in on Sunday to help fight fire on the west side of Harrison Lake.

The Mars water bomber, which can drop more than 27,000 litres of water in one pass, joined several smaller tanker planes in battling fire.

As of Tuesday, more than 135 firefighters were on the ground, while nine helicopters attacked from the air.

Campers were evacuated from 10-Mile Bay and Wood Lake on Sunday. And while 20-Mile Bay was not directly threatened, campers were escorted out of the area too as a precaution.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, no homes or structures are at risk from the fire. The fire is currently spreading northward away from the community of Harrison Hot Springs.

"Wind in the area has fanned this aggressively burning ground fire. The wind is blowing sparks and embers ahead of the fire, and the fire's activity is challenging the air tanker work," the service said.

There's no word on the actual number of campers evacuated.

The fire is believed to be human-caused. Said spokesperson Donna MacPherson: "This fire was completely preventable. Right now we don't need any more human-caused fires."


At 3 p.m. on Friday, the BC Wildfire Service announced an area restriction to keep people away from the active fire.

"An area restriction has been put in to limit access to this area. A map can be seen at the Fire of Note page for this fire, but encompasses the area north of the Hemlock Valley FSR to Westwood Bay, and inland from the lake to the eastern shore of Chehalis Lake and the Chehalis and Eagle creeks. This closure does not affect the Hemlock Valley Ski Resort area," the website reads.

This area closure affects the follow camping areas: Wood Lake, 20 Mile Bay, Hale Creek.

For a full list of which campgrounds are closed, and which remain open, visit Recreation Sites and Trail BC.


Watch for more information as it becomes available.


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