By Laura Keil

Thunderstorms ignited five new lightning fires in the Valemount area Aug 1st, two along Kinbasket Lake, one on Canoe Mountain, one east of Tete Jaune Cache (north of Rearguard Falls), and another on Westridge, but as of Aug. 3rd, only one fire on Kinbasket is still active and is being held by firefighting crews.

As of 5a.m. Aug. 2nd, the BC Wildfire Dashboard showed all the fires were estimated at less than 0.01 Ha except for the fire on Canoe Mountain which was estimated at 0.09 Ha.

B.C. saw a jump in the number of wildfires with 80 new fires in the four days previous, 50 of which were caused by lightning.

On Thursday August 4th at noon, campfires will be prohibited in the Kamloops Fire Centre. In the Prince George Fire Centre campfires are currently still permitted, however, they must be less than 0.5m in diameter and height and users must have either water or a shovel nearby to extinguish the fire if needed. More information on campfire laws can be found here.

Currently, there are two wildfires of note. The Nohomin Creek Wildfire and Keremeos Creek Wildfire, both in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Between July 29th and 30th alone, the province was struck by lightning 3,995 times. The majority were in the Kamloops Fire Centre, with the remainder in the Prince George, Southeast and Cariboo Fire Centres.

“We undertake patrols in areas where lightning strikes, based on local conditions,” the BC Wildfire Service said in a statement. “Lightning caused fires may take time to be visible depending on the amount of precipitation that fell with the storm as well as the type of fuel and how dry those fuels are both internally and below the ground.”

The Wildfire Service asks for the public to report any sign of a wildfire to 1 800 663-5555, *5555 on cell phones, or through the BC Wildfire Service Mobile App. If you use the Mobile App for your report, you can add a photo.

Weather Forecast

In an Aug. 1st update, the BC Wildfire Service says temperatures will remain seasonal in the north and begin to drop in a few areas of the south. However, dry conditions will remain in most areas of the province.

“Tomorrow and into the week expect temperatures to continue to drop in the south and for winds to continue in western regions. In the north, precipitation is expected alongside unsettled conditions.”

Warmer conditions are expected next weekend in the south, with the north remaining seasonal with periodic precipitation.