Lightning ignites dozens of fires across across B.C.’s Southern Interior

Thunderstorms moving through B.C.’s Southern Interior over the weekend are suspected to have caused dozens of wildfires. 

In the past two days, the B.C. Wildfire Service has recorded 46 new wildfires, bringing the total number of active fires in the province to 49.

The Kamloops Fire Centre says a storm cell that passed through the area Friday evening caused multiple fires, with 15 new wildfires confirmed on Saturday.

The Solco Creek wildfire, 27 kilometres northeast of Oliver, is the largest in the province and has grown to approximately 13.8 hectares in size. It is classified as out of control.

Later in the afternoon Saturday, thunderstorms moved southeast where 13 new wildfires are suspected to have been ignited by lightning. 

The largest fire in the Southeast Fire Centre is the Burton Creek wildfire at 0.3 hectares in size, which is located 35 kilometres south of Nakusp. Ground, airtanker and rappel crews are working to suppress it. 

“These dry lightning thunderstorms just started in the late afternoon making their way throughout the centre,” said Kim Wright, Southeast Fire Centre fire information officer.

“They were storms that we had forecasted, and so in anticipation of the possibility for increased fire activity … we brought more crews on line on standby, and more resources like the air tankers and helicopter support,” Wright said.

Wright is asking the public for their continued support in using campfires responsibly and following the rules. 

There have now been 311 wildfires recorded across the province this year, with 87 occurring in the past week.