Photo: BC Wildfire

BC Wildfire calls Saturday a win

Lightning sparks 41 new blazes in Kamloops District

The weather tossed a lot of trouble at BC Wildfire Saturday, but the service is considering its response “pretty successful,” according to fire information officer Brenna Ward.

Forty-one new fires sparked through the Kamloops District as a lightening storm moved across the region.

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As of 10 p.m. Saturday 30 of those fires were classed as out of control, five were out, five were under control, and one was held.

The majority of the new blazes are spot fires, said Ward, which is “anything from the size of a campfire up to .001 hectares.”

At its largest, a spot fire is 10 square metres.

Two new fires burning near Kelowna Saturday night will be visible to the public, said Ward.

“We are anticipating calls.”

Firefighters have not been able to action the McMullen Creek fire, measured at .2 hectares, or the spot fire at Davidson Creek, due to weather.

“One of the challenges the storm did bring was really erratic and volatile winds…Safety of our crews is our first priority.”

Those fires were to be monitored overnight, with a fresh attack planned for Sunday morning.

The Gottfriedsen Mountain fire, also near Kelowna, behaved well throughout the day.

“Today it was not our problem child,” she said. “There was minimal growth.”

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Lightning caused a new fire close to the Snowy Mountain blaze in the Similkameen Valley. That fire was receiving a modified response Saturday, and being assessed rather than actioned.

Ward said BC Wildfire was ready for the storm, and was able to allocate resources in strategic areas for quick response.

“We were watching it coming. We had a few days to prepare…We knew there would be new fire starts.”

The service is able to record lightning strikes as they occur, she added, which aids deployment strategies.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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