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Lightning storms set off fires around the province

NEWS — Lightning is keeping firefighters busy in several parts of the province today (Thursday).

The Cariboo Fire Centre is responding to three fires  caused by lightning storms that moved through the Quesnel, Barkerville and Wells areas on Wednesday.

wildfire1They’re all small, spot-sized wildfires and none is currently threatening any property or infrastructure. Air patrols will be conducted later today to locate any additional fires sparked by the lightning storms, said the fire centre.

While there’s currently no campfire ban in the Cariboo Fire Centre, the public is being asked to remain vigilant and practice proper campfire safety.

Prince George Fire Centre personnel have responded to 20 new fires in the past 48 hours, 15 of which were caused by lightning. One of the fires was caused by an abandoned campfire and the causes of four others are undetermined.

One of the largest fires is 60 kilometres northeast of Fort Nelson and as of noon today had burned three hectares. Helicopters were used to bucket water onto the fire and two Initial Attack Crews were onsite fighting the blaze.

Air tankers were used to fight another fire south of Stuart Lake, followed by a helicopter bucketing additional water onto the fire. Ground crews will be onsite today to fight the fire.

Fifteen abandoned campfires were reported in the Prince George Fire Zone over the extended Canada Day long weekend. The fire danger rating is currently “moderate” to “high” throughout the Prince George Fire Centre, with a few areas rated “extreme” near Vanderhoof, Fort St. John and northeast of Fort Nelson.

The Northwest Fire Centre is responding to a 25-hectare fire near the west end of Takysie Lake, about six km south of the community of Southside. The fire was started by a lightning strike Wednesday.

The fire centre said no structures or property were immediately threatened but smoke and a firefighting helicopter may be visible to nearby communities.

As of 9 a.m. today, 85 per cent of the fire was surrounded with a retardant guard laid yesterday by air-tankers.

Forty Wildfire Management Branch personnel, heavy equipment, and one helicopter supporting crews on the ground were on site.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your cellphone or 1 800-663-5555 toll-free.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website: http://www.bcwildfire.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8243 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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