Three spot fires sprung to life in the South Okanagan on Saturday, likely as a result of a rolling thunder and lightning storm that passed through the region.
The B.C. Wildfire dashboard shows three small fires mapped at 0.01 hectares in size and located at Mount Kobau, Hester Creek and Tinhorn Creek.
“We consider that a spot size fire, so that is basically 10 metres by 10 metres, so those are quite small,” said fire information officer Sarah Hall.
“Each fire has an incident response crew on it, so that is three personnel, and we are constantly assessing and allocate resources as needed.”
Meanwhile, the BC Wildfire Service continues its suppression efforts on three fires burning near Graystokes provincial park east of Kelowna, B.C.
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The Lees Lake fire is now considered under control at 0.36 hectares in size. It was first discovered on July 2.
“Crews are actioning it and correctively suppressing with bucketing, so that proved to be quite successful as it’s now under control,” Hall said.
The 1,140 hectare Derickson lake fire was lightning-caused and remains out-of-control, while the Long Loch blaze is mapped at 60 hectares in size and is considered “being held,” meaning it is not expected to spread beyond its existing boundaries.
Hall said the Graystokes-area fires are burning in rugged and remote terrain and are not threatening homes or businesses.
Province-wide, the BC Wildfire Service said it has responded to 633 wildfires since April 1, burning 83,000 hectares of land.
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Cliff Chapman, director of provincial operations for the BC Wildfire Service, said 56 per cent of the fires are human-caused, 31 per cent are lightning-caused, and the remaining have undetermined causes.
There are currently 174 fires burning in the province, including 81 fires detected over the past 48 hours.
“The fuels and the conditions in the forest remain exceptionally dry and exceptionally available to burn should a fire start and we are continuing to battle lightning tracking through the interior,” Chapman said.
Chapman said lightning is posing an additional challenge to fire crews as the weather fails to cooperate.
“The forecast for the next period of time is that we are expecting to see lightning build again today and it should focus on the interior, as it has the last couple of days,” he said.
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New fire starts are expected in the Kamloops, Cariboo and southeast fire centres.
The storms bring a chance of rain, but the rainfall has so far been insignificant for the firefight and hasn’t slowed new starts, Chapman said.
“We are seeing a return to somewhat seasonal weather conditions in terms of temperatures and relative humidity. It should help us in going after the fires we currently have on the landscape, as well, hopefully, we will see the diminishing of lightning every day, which will also help us with new starts,” he said.
Crews were battling 13 “fires of note”— blazes that are highly visible or pose a possible threat to lives or property.
To learn details about each fire and related evacuations, visit Global BC’s B.C. wildfire map 2021 page.
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