by Dave Preston
An impressive light show Friday night that involved numerous lightning strikes to the west of Peachland resulted in about a dozen new fires reported, none of which were any consequence to the Wildfire Protection Branch of the BC Forest Service.
“All of the fires we’ve had reported so far are spot size,” said Kevin Skrepnek, fire information officer. “At most, a couple of metres by a couple of metres.”
Skrepnek said most of the activity overnight in the Kamloops Fire Centre was west of the Okanagan Valley, in the Merritt and Princeton areas.
“There was nothing significant in the the Okanagan,” he said.
Although a fair amount of rain fell along with the lightning Friday night, Skrepnek said there is always potential for holdovers — small, smouldering fires that could flare up when the day heats up.
“We are monitoring the situation closely,” said Skrepnek.
After a monsoon like June, where points in the Okanagan received twice the average rainfall, things are drying out.
The Fire Danger Rating throughout the province is increasing. Skrepnek said most of the Okanagan is sitting at a moderate rating, while areas like Lillooet, Merritt and Ashcroft are considered high.
Fire warden patrols are on this weekend, according to Skrepnek. There are no campfire bans in place at this time, but wardens are out making sure that campfires are small (the largest allowed is a half metre by a half metre) and they are fully put out when campers leave.
Skrepnek said forest firefighters are keeping a handle on lightning caused fires, but it will begin to stretch resources if unattended campfires become a problem.
Mostly hot and dry weather is forecast for about the next 10 days.
Editor’s Note: We have more lightning pictures in our Photo Gallery.