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Smoke visible as Bute Inlet fires burn out of control

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Two fires burning out of control north of Campbell River and Powell River have caused smoke to be visible on the Island.

According to BC Wildfire Service, the Southgate River Fire and the S Elliot Drainage Fire are burning at the top of Bute Inlet on the mainland.

The two fires are located around 4.7 kilometres apart and are an estimated 208 hectares and 16 hectares in size respectively.

The service says the Southgate fire was caused by lightning, while the cause of the second fire is being investigated.

Smoke from the fires is visible on Vancouver Island including Campbell River and Courtenay. BC Wildfire Service says the smoke has been moving north and east of the fire depending on prevailing winds.

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Twenty firefighters, five helicopters and support from industry including heavy equipment are fighting the fire in what the service says is rugged, steep terrain that is difficult to access.

The teams are fighting the fires together using an incident management team, according to BC Wildfire Service.

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