Cameron Bluff wildfire deemed out of control, road closure continues | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Cameron Bluff wildfire deemed out of control, road closure continues

Port Alberni, BC

The forest fire burning on the mountain side above Highway 4 at Cameron Lake has been upgraded to Wildfire of Note according to the BC Wildfire Services. This means that the fire is highly visible or poses a threat to public safety.

In addition, the fire is deemed out of control. It is continuing to spread and is not responding to suppression efforts. The fire had grown to 80 hectares according to BC Wildfire Services latest update, which was Tuesday, June 6, at 5:04 p.m.

Earlier on June 6, it was reported that the fire had grown from 25 hectares to 100 hectares. While it is not yet known whether the fire has grown to this size, signs of it are more evident in Port Alberni with increased levels of smoke and the odor of burning wood this morning.

The fire forced closure of Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Coombs for a short period in the late morning of June 6. It re-opened for a few hours then closed again in the late afternoon and remains closed today.

The latest update at Drive BC indicates that Highway 4 is closed in both directions. It advises motorists to watch for information on the Drive BC website.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure issued a statement on Wednesday, June 7, advising of the closure due to Cameron Bluffs wildfire.

“Drivers should expect lengthy delays as no detour is currently available. Detour options are being assessed,” reads the statement.

There are alternate routes out of Port Alberni to the east or south Vancouver Island. One, called the Horne Lake connector, is a service road managed by a forestry company. It is not available due to locked gates.

The other route is over a long, rough gravel logging road that, according to Google Maps, takes travelers from Port Alberni to Youbou, then to Duncan, B.C., a distance of 150 kilometres with an estimated travel time of three hours.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information checkpoints for travellers are being set up at Lake Cowichan, near the Port Alberni Visitors Centre and at Chatsworth Road in Whisky Creek to alert people to the closure. Emergency signage and traffic-control personnel will alert travellers to the closure.

It is believed that the Cameron Bluff fire is human caused, as a walking trail passes through the elevated area. The Coastal Fire Centre announced that campfire bans will begin tomorrow.

“Effective at noon Pacific Daylight Time on Thursday, June 8, 2023, campfires will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre, except for the Haida Gwaii Forest District. This prohibition is being enacted to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety,” reads the statement.

This prohibition will be in place until Tuesday, October 31, 2023, or until the order is rescinded.

For up-to-date information about driving conditions, visit:

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