The Southgate River Fire is located at the northeastern tip of Bute Inlet on the B.C. mainland east of Campbell River. It is one of two fires burning in the area and is classified as out of control. BC Wildfire photo/Twitter

The Southgate River Fire is located at the northeastern tip of Bute Inlet on the B.C. mainland east of Campbell River. It is one of two fires burning in the area and is classified as out of control. BC Wildfire photo/Twitter

Two wildfires burning out of control at head of Bute Inlet

Coastal Fire Centre reports 208 ha and 16.5 ha fires are being managed as one

Two fires 4.7 kilometres apart are burning out of control at the head of Bute Inlet on the B.C. mainland north of Campbell River.

The Southgate River Fire is located at the northeastern tip of Bute Inlet, according to a Coastal Fire Centre report on Twitter. The fire was caused by lightning and is currently 208 ha in size and classified out of control. It began on June 28.

Coastal Fire Centre also reports that approximately 4.7 km southeast of the Southgate River Fire, the S. Elliot Drainage Fire is 16.5 ha in size and also classified out of control. This fire began July 23 and the cause is unknown.

The Coastal Fire Centre says the two fires are being managed together as a complex using an Incident Management Team.

Twenty firefighters, five helicopters and support from industry, including heavy equipment, are being used to fight the fires. Both are burning in rugged, steep terrain that is difficult to access safely, Coastal Fire Centre says.

Smoke from the fires are visible in parts of Vancouver Island, including Campbell River and Courtenay.

Meanwhile, two new fires near the North Island Highway northwest of Campbell River began Aug. 1 at Big Tree Creek and northwest of there at an area described as “6 km A Branch” which began early on Aug. 2. The fire at Big Tree Creek was human-caused while the cause of the other fire is unknown. The sizes of the fires are listed as 0.01 ha.

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