Zeballos Fire Update – August 30, 2018

Thursday, August 30, 2018 Wildfire update:

The State of Local Emergency has been extended to September 6, 2018 and will be re-evaluated weekly.

The fire remains at approximately 168 hectares. On the South flank, a trail has been cut from the powerlines into the tree-line to assess the terrain for possible fire crew accessibility. Additional equipment, including another water bladder has been acquired and will be used behind the houses on Pandora Crescent and at the North end of Maquinna Ave.

BCWS used water lines to hose the fire that has crept down the mountainside at the top of Pandora. This area continues to be monitored by BCWS, Port McNeill Fire Department as well as Comox Structural Protection personnel.

Wildfires & Air Quality

Forest fire smoke is a complex and dynamic mixture of gases and very small particles that can irritate the respiratory system and cause systemic inflammation.

Advice to minimize health effects:

  • If you have a chronic condition, have rescue medication on hand at all times and a plan to follow if your rescue medication cannot bring your condition under control.
  • Look for indoor environments that might be less smoky, such as shopping malls, community centres and libraries.
  • Avoid physical exertion because the amount of smoke you breathe increases as your breathing rate increases.
  • Keep hydrated as it helps your body deal with inflammation.

Zeballos Fire Update – August 29, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Wildfire update:

Fire remains at 168 hectares, with very slow movement. Priorities continue to be protecting homes and infrastructure on the north end of the fire, and power lines on the south end.

A RAP crew completed building a heli-pad on the South flank in the forest regeneration area. This will enable ground crews to set up a wet line on the South flank to protect hydro lines.

On the North flank a water bladder with pump was set up on the hillside behind Pandora Crescent and a water line was established farther out to put out hot spots in that area. This augments the sprinkler system already in place.

Safety for all public and firefighting personnel remains a priority.

Take care of yourself during this stressful time! Here are some tips from Emergency Info BC about maintaining good mental health during a wildfire:

  • Limit your exposure to wildfire media coverage; viewing traumatic images can be overwhelming and can make it harder to think clearly.
  • Try and return to your daily routines as soon as possible.
  • Get enough sleep, eat nutritious foods and stay hydrated.
  • Be kind and patient with yourself and others.
  • Seek support when you need it. If you’re feeling sad, mad, or confused—or even feeling nothing at all—reach out to others for help. For mental health support, call the BC Crisis Centre at 310-6789 (no area code required).

View the PDF version of this update here: Zeballos Wildfire Update – August 29

Zeballos Fire Update – August 28, 2018

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 Wildfire update:

The fire size and status remains unchanged. Priorities continue to be protecting homes and infrastructure on the north end of the fire, and power lines on the south end.

The North flank of the fire is still active, and flare-ups continue to be seen behind evacuated homes. The sprinkler system already in place will be maintained and expanded as necessary.

On the South flank, a rappel (RAP) crew is working to establish a heli-pad in a forest regeneration area. This will enable ground crews to set up a wet line on the South flank to protect hydro lines. Brushing work around the hydro poles has been completed.

Safety for all public and firefighting personnel remains a priority.

From the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual:

Keep roadways and driveways clear! In an emergency, you and your family may need to leave your community while emergency responders enter. In order for this to happen safely and efficiently, consider the following tips:

  1. Clearly mark your property with your address.
  2. Clear vegetation and debris from your driveway.
  3. Ensure that a firetruck can reach your home: remove low-hanging branches that cross your driveway; and if parking on the street, ensure that you are fully off the road so a fire truck can still get through.

Pick up your own copy of the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual at the Post Office or Village Office.

View PDF of this update here: Zeballos Wildfire Update – August 28

Zeballos Fire Update – August 27, 2018

Monday, August 27, 2018 Wildfire update:

We are so thankful for all the crews working on this fire! At this time, we have one Incident Commander and one Strike Team Leader from BC Wildfire Service, four firefighters from the Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department, five firefighters from the Comox Fire Department’s Structural Protection Unit, ten firefighters contracted from Khowutzun Forest Service, and a five-member team from Ehatis Resources contracted to clear the area around the power lines. Our own Zeballos Volunteer Fire Department firefighters are on standby and will be dispatched if the fire moves closer to structures.

The fire size and status remains unchanged. Priorities continue to be protecting homes and infrastructure on the north end of the fire, and power lines on the south end. Ground crews have cleared debris on Maquinna Avenue to maintain that as an evacuation route, but it will remain closed to regular traffic until the fire is completely out and the slope is assessed for safety.

Ground crews continue to clear around the powerline poles to the south. A significant perimeter has already been brushed around the hydro lines. This work will continue as possible. On the north flank, crews have established a wet line around the east side evacuation site.

Safety for all public and firefighting personnel remains a priority. The sprinkler system already in place will be maintained and expanded as necessary.

From the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual:

50% of home fires caused by wildfires are started by sparks and embers! Dry leaves, pine needles, and the like are easily blown into spaces under decks, between stair steps, gutters, and eaves. This type of debris is easily ignited by sparks and embers. Regular maintenance to remove debris from your home and yard will leave nothing for embers to ignite.

Have a look around your place today. What ONE thing can you do today to make your home and property a little safer? DO IT!

Pick up your own copy of the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual at the Post Office or Village Office.

View PDF of this update here: Zeballos Wildfire Update – August 27

Zeballos Fire Update – August 26, 2018

Sunday, August 26, 2018 Wildfire update:

The fire size and status remains unchanged. Ground crews continue to clear around the powerline poles to the south. Other crews working on the north flank to complete a fire break around the north tip of the fire. Current priorities on the South flank continue to be the power lines. Crews have gone in and brushed a significant perimeter around the hydro lines. This work will continue as possible.

Safety for all public and firefighting personnel remains a priority. The sprinkler system already in place will be maintained and expanded as necessary.

from the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual:

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME

Home renovations and upgrades can be costly and time-consuming. FireSmart focuses on what is realistic for you to achieve, in order to limit the risk of wildfire to your home. Integrate FireSmart into your long-term renovations and incorporate regular yard clean-ups to reduce your risk of damage from wildfire.

Have a look around your place today. What ONE thing can you do today to make your home and property a little safer? DO IT!

Pick up your own copy of the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual at the Post Office or Village Office.

Zeballos Fire Update – August 25, 2018

Saturday, August 25, 2018 Wildfire update:

Zeballos received about 3 mm of rain overnight, but the fire size and status remains unchanged. This morning’s low cloud cover prevents firefighting efforts by helicopter, but ground crews will continue work to establish a wet line around the perimeter of the north flank.

Current priorities on the South flank continue to be the power lines. Crews have gone in and brushed a significant perimeter around the hydro lines. This work will continue as possible.

On the North flank of the fire, crews completed the task of clearing a fire guard to tie into the river and successfully created a 100 ft wet line around the sea cans at the East Side Evacuation site. They will extend the sprinkler system for structure protection if needed.

You can help to protect your home. Here are a few easy fire prevention tips from the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual:

  • Move your firewood pile at least 10m away from your house.
  • Maintain a clean roof and gutters.
  • Keep your lawn and fence line mowed, as grasses shorter than 10cm are less likely to burn intensely.

Pick up your own copy of the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual at the Post Office or Village Office.

View PDF of this update here: Zeballos Wildfire Update – August 25

Zeballos Fire Update – August 24, 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018 Fire Update –

The fire has not shown much growth overnight and remains at approximately 168 hectares. Yesterday, there were 2 fire retardant drops via air tanker between the South Flank of the fire and the hydro lines.

Current priorities on the South flank are to have personnel brush around the hydro lines to help prevent the fire from reaching the lines.

On the North flank of the fire, guards are being created using machines and will be tied into the Zeballos River in an effort to push the fire back up the mountain-side. Personnel will also be setting up a wet line between the Tsunami Evacuation Site sea cans and the base of the mountain.

You can help to protect your home. Here are a few easy fire prevention tips from the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual:

  • Keep grass within 10 meters of any building mowed and watered
  • Position your propane tanks at least 10 metres from any building
  • Be sure your driveway is wide enough to accommodate emergency vehicles

Pick up your own copy of the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual at the Post Office or Village Office.

Local State of Emergency – Extension to August 30th

Extension Request For State Of Local Emergency

WHEREAS life and property remain at risk due to an Interface Fire in the Village of Zeballos;

AND WHEREAS the Mayor of the Village of Zeballos has requested to extend the duration of the declaration of a state of local emergency due to expire on August 23, 2018 at midnight;

IT IS HEREBY APPROVED pursuant to Section 12(6) of the Emergency Program Act (RS, 1996, Chap.111) that the Village of Zeballos may extend the duration of a state of local emergency for a further seven days to August 30, 2018 at midnight.

See official approval of this extension here: State of Local Emergency Extension – Expires August 30, 2018

Zeballos Fire Update – August 23, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018 Wildfire update:

The fire on the ridge is now 168 hectares in size. It is a rank 2 (open flame) fire. There will be a RAP crew brushing along the hydro lines at the south flank and a 10 member crew concentrating their efforts on the north flank.

Current Priorities to the South:

  • Protection of the main powerlines to the community;
  • Possible sprinkler system around hydro lines, though water supply might be an issue; and
  • Looking to send an aircraft in to look at the possibility of dropping fire retardant between the south flank and the hydro lines.

Current Priorities to the North:

  • Excavator work to establish a fire guard; and
  • Directing more water on the fire.

You can help to protect your home. According to the BC FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual:

“Wildfire can follow a path from a forest or grassland to your home. A wildfire moving from the tops of trees can be slowed if the trees are spaced out. It can be further slowed by flame-resistant plants and shrubs in your yard.”

What to do?

  1. Yard Spacing: Move combustible materials at least 10 metres from your home, such as firewood and stored fuel.
  2. Tree Spacing: Leave at least 3 metres between trees on your property.
  3. Prune Trees: Remove all tree branches within 2 metres of the ground.

Pick up your own copy of the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual at the Post Office or Village Office.

View full PDF  here: August 23 Wildfire Update.