Sonora Island Lodge

Owen Bay Fire on Sonora Island ‘under control’

CKTZ News, through an LJI grant from

The Owen Bay Fire, on the Southern tip of Sonora Island, is now under control.

It was first reported about 4 p.m. on Thursday. By the time the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) issued a wildfire evacuation alert for the 30 or so residences south of Hyacinth and Dorr Lakes, at 11:45 PM, the fire had grown to two hectares. BC Wildfire Service reported that at least one structure was involved.

In a Time Colonist article Aug. 13, Shawn Koopman, protective services co-ordinator for the SRD,  said, “We cannot speak highly enough of the residents that came together for the initial response in an organized and caring fashion to protect their community.”

By Friday afternoon, the fire spread across 5.3 hectares. Four helicopters, a fire response boat and 17 provincial firefighters were fighting alongside the local Owens Bay Fire Brigade.

BC Wildfire Service personnel are believed to have remained on Sonora Island throughout most of the weekend.

Local residents were instructed to be ready for a possible evacuation until the SRD lifted the alert at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

“Resources on the fire today consist of 14 firefighters who will fortify blackline around the fire to 50-100 feet along the fire perimeter. Over the coming days, BC Wildfire Service crews will continue to work on this fire but residents should be aware that this continues to be an active wildfire and will still see fire activity within the perimeter of the fire,” the recent SRD press release states.

Meanwhile, the BC Wildfire Dashboard interactive map shows there are still several small fires to the south.

The fire at the Comox Military base appears to have been suppressed and is no longer displayed.

A new fire, believed to have been caused by lightning, broke out in the Mainland side of Homfray Channel. This brings the number of fires north of Powell River, in quathet Regional District, to four.

Projection of the situation at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, as smoke from wildfires in the Interior approaches Cortes and the other southern Discovery Islands. Screenshot taken from the Firesmoke website

Cortes Island’s skies are should remain clear today, but the BlueSky Canada interactive online visual tool shows smoke from fires in the Interior arriving between 8-9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The haze should reach Quadra Island and Campbell River in the next two hours and spread across much of the east side of Vancouver Island.

Top image credit: The famous Sonora Island Lodge, on the northern side of Sonora Island, was not affected by the fire. Photo by Hugo Chisolm via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License).