Overnight lightning sparks wildfire increase in Kamloops Fire Centre

While the wildfire damage this year has been minimal, that could be about to change. Jody Lucius with the BC Wildfire Service on what's pushing up the fire risk as we head into the BC Day long weekend.

The number of wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre suddenly increased from less than a handful on Friday to 17 on Saturday morning following overnight lightning and thunderstorms that rolled across the region.

The fires, according to BC Wildfire statistics, are scattered, but do appear in small clusters in three areas.

Earlier Saturday, two fires were listed in Silver Star Provincial Park. The two were listed as being small, at 0.01 hectares, and were around 3.8 kilometres away from each other.

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But by Saturday afternoon, BC Wildfire said one fire has been extinguished, while the other was a smoke chase.

Fire information officer Gagan Lidhran said crews were unable to find the smoke-chase fire despite the efforts of a helicopter and ground crews.

Also, an earlier fire 20 kilometres to the east, near the south end of Mabel Lake, is no longer on BC Wildfire’s map, but there’s a new one 12.5 kilometres northeast of Anglemont.

The Narrows fire is said to be half a hectare in size and is listed at out of control.

BC Wildfire says that fire was lightning-caused, and that three firefighters are on scene, along with a helicopter bucketing water.

Further north, a spot fire listed as out of control located three kilometres east in the hills above Chase. Three firefighters are on scene, along with a helicopter.

Four more fires are in and around Kamloops.

A cluster of three fires are located 25 to 32 km north of Tulameen, while three more are located along the west side of Highway 8, between Merritt and Spences Bridge.

In the South Okanagan, no new fires were reported, but the Solco Creek fire east of Okanagan Falls grew in size from 1.5 to 13.8 hectares. Discovered Thursday, it is currently listed as being out of control.

Also east of Okanagan Falls, the Kilmer Creek fire, discovered Wednesday, remained at 1.10 hectares, and under control.

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The fire danger rating for the region is expected to be 4, or high, for Saturday, as it was on Friday.

Overall, BC Wildfire says there have been 35 new fires in the last two days, with the Kamloops Fire Centre (17) having the most. The Coastal Fire Centre is next at 12, with four in the Southeast Fire Centre, three in the Northwest, two in the Cariboo and one in the Prince George Fire Centre.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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