A detour has been set up for drivers who need to get around the Cameron Lake wildfire on Highway 4, but people are strongly encouraged to wait if possible.
The fire at Cameron Lake Bluff is still out of control, but a detour is now in place routing traffic from Port Alberni through to Lake Cowichan via Bamfield using forest-service and privately owned industrial roads. The gravel detour route has narrow sections, sharp curves, single-lane bridges and challenging terrain. There is no cell service, gas stations or washroom facilities on the detour route.
Regular passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles can take the detour. No over-height or over-weight vehicles will be permitted.
The detour route extends travel by four hours and includes difficult driving conditions.
For drivers who must travel for essential purposes, the Province urges preparation and patience. Drivers should fuel up, bring extra supplies, food and water to be prepared for the high temperatures at this time of year, and note that conditions can change quickly. Drivers are encouraged to plan trips during daylight hours and to drive with caution.
Detour signage and traffic-control personnel will direct travellers through the detour at key decision points. Government staff and maintenance contractors will regularly patrol the detour to assist motorists if required.
Information checkpoints for travellers will be set up at Youbou Road near Lake Cowichan and at Highway 4 at Aspeden Road near Port Alberni.
The fire currently covers 140 hectares.