VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C – The weekend rain was a welcome help for crews fighting fires in the northern region of Vancouver Island.

According to Lynn Wheeler of the B.C Coastal Fire Service, the north island region saw 6-11 millimetres of rain yesterday, which “significantly reduced fire behaviour.”

Wheeler said the Build Up index, a numeric rating for the amount of “total forest fuel available for combustion”, is the highest it’s been on the north island in 40 years.

“If it’s dry, the fire needs less energy to burn, more flammable material makes the fire behaviour more aggressive,” she said.

The Larry Lake fire, currently burning at 20 hectares, is considered under control and fire crews are monitoring for hot spots before they declare it out.

The Gold Valley Main fire is still listed as 168 hectares, four firefighting crews and five structural protection crews are battling the blaze.  

Pinder Creek, 260 hectares in size, is still listed as out of control, 16 firefighters and two helicopters continue to fight the flames, though much of the steep terrain is “unworkable” according to the fire service.  

There are 54 fires still burning in the north island, 48 of them have been “actioned” and have crews working on them.