An evacuation alert for 20 properties in the Bush Creek area has been posted as of 1:23pm Friday. Important to note that this is just an alert, and not an order.

The properties are as followed:

Photo courtesy of Alertable App

An evacuation alert means you should be taking steps to prepare for an evacuation order. These are things like packing essential items, locating all family members and preparing a plan for an order, arranging transportation and filling vehicles with gas.

The alert says to make sure you wait for an order before actually evacuating.

Backgrounder

The Mount Hayes wildfire grew more than triple its size overnight, from 20 to 70 hectares of land. BC Wildfire Service currently has the fire listed as a fire of note, which is already more severe and double the size of the Copper Canyon Wildfire earlier this month.

In a noon update, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) says that the steep terrain is making it challenging for fire crews to access the area and move equipment.

Four fire crews, five helicopters, air tankers, seven pieces of heavy equipment, and 14 contract crews were deployed on scene this morning to deal with the situation.

Traffic control measures are in place around the area, and the public is being advised to follow the restrictions.

A Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) has been set up and a State of Local Emergency declared for the surrounding area. The REOC has been working in close coordination with the BC Wildfire Service, Town of Ladysmith, Stz’uminus First Nation and the North Oyster Fire Department.

For up-to-date information, you can follow the CVRD social media pages or download the Cowichan Alert app.