A wildfire near Quinsam Coal Mine southwest of Campbell River has grown to four hectares in size, according to BC Wildfire. Black Press file photo Smoke was visible from the road to Quinsam Coal Mine. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Vancouver Island wildfire burning near Campbell River coal mine

The fire is suspected to be human caused at this time

The wildfire that broke out Wednesday night southwest of Campbell River is now 12 hectares in size, according to the Coastal Fire Centre.

It was initially reported to be about four hectares, though officials are not worried about the blaze spreading.

The fire is reported to be near Argonaut Mainline and the Quinsam Coal mine. A gate on the road to the mine site was open Thursday morning, with vehicles getting in and out, but the site was being guarded to control access. Light smoke could still be seen from the site.

The Coastal Fire Centre did not have information about the fire’s proximity to the mine.

“It’s in the area of the mine, but it is not threatening any infrastructure,” said Jeanne Larsen.

There are two water trucks and two helicopters working on the fire, with three initial attack crews, each consisting of three people, and two five-person firefighting crews.

“We’re not anticipating any control problems,” Larsen said.

The fire as of Thursday morning was not yet “being held,” which is the second-lowest designation after “out.” The highest designations are “out of control,” followed by “under control.”

“We don’t anticipate any problems with it today at all,” she added.

Most of the fire was limited to slash area. A small portion spread to forest, but Larsen said this part of the fire was no longer an issue by Thursday morning.

Fire officials have not confirmed a cause for the fire.

“The cause is under investigation. It is believed to be human-caused but certainly nothing more defined at this point,” Larsen said.

We’ll provide more information when it becomes available.

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