B.C. Wildfire Service crews battle a fire close to Mt. Hayes near Ladysmith. (Photo submitted)

B.C. Wildfire Service crews battle a fire close to Mt. Hayes near Ladysmith. (Photo submitted)

Crews fighting wildfire near Ladysmith

Fire close to Mt. Hayes has grown to four hectares

UPDATE: Crews work overnight fighting Mt. Hayes wildfire near Ladysmith

B.C. Wildfire Service firefighters are battling a bush fire south of Nanaimo.

The fire, which is growing according to reports from witnesses, is located on the south side of Mt. Hayes, between Ladysmith and Cassidy.

Reports about the fire from witnesses started coming in at about 2 p.m.

Gordon Robinson, fire information assistant with the Coastal Fire Centre, said the fire is about 2.5 kilometres west of the Trans-Canada Highway and about two kilometres east of Mt. Hayes. He said it’s a Rank 2-3 fire.

“So you’re getting some decent surface fire and a little bit of fire getting up into the trees,” he said.

The fire was estimated at 1.1 hectares earlier this afternoon and is now listed as four hectares.

There are 10 B.C. Wildfire Service personnel tasked to the fire, four helicopters, three air tankers and two water tenders.

Ron Gueulette, chief of Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department, reported from the scene that strong winds are blowing in the area.

“Fortunately the wind is blowing from the north and it’s on the Ladysmith side of Mount Hayes, so nothing’s really in jeopardy yet, as long as the wind stays like this,” Gueulette said.

He said the fire’s location on the southern face of the mountain near Bush Creek is somewhat sheltered from the wind and there are no properties in immediate danger. Gueulette said the fire is not in the coverage area of local fire departments from Ladysmith or Cranberry.

“If the wind changes direction it could be a different story,” he said.

Robinson said no evacuations related to the fire were being recommended, including at the Mt. Hayes LNG facility nearby, which he noted is on the other side of the mountain from the fire.

“They’ll keep an eye on it, if it spreads in that direction, I’m sure they’ll reconsider,” he said.

READ ALSO: State of emergency and evacuation alert lifted for Copper Canyon wildfire



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Smoke from a wildfire near Ladysmith. (John McKinley/Black Press)

Smoke from a wildfire near Ladysmith. (John McKinley/Black Press)

A wildfire, pictured from Nanaimo Airport, has broken out north of Ladysmith on Mount Hayes. (Photo: courtesy Laurie Hawthornthwaite)

A wildfire, pictured from Nanaimo Airport, has broken out north of Ladysmith on Mount Hayes. (Photo: courtesy Laurie Hawthornthwaite)