BC Wildfire explains impact lightning has on potential wildfires

Lightning wildfire impact

A severe thunderstorm watch has just been lifted in the Okanagan, and with a few hot days across the valley leading up to Tuesday, the BC Wildfire Service is urging residents to be vigilant.

"It is a good time to remember for British Columbians that they are our eyes and ears on the ground. Especially with the warmer weather that we saw earlier in the week that it is good to be extra cautious, especially coming into the long weekend going out and enjoying those recreational activities."

"We need to remember to properly dispose of cigarettes, be cautious with vehicle exhaust and fireworks. All that can easily spark a wildfire so it is important for people to be cautious with the dry weather we have had," said fire information officer Shaelee Stearns.

The Kamloops Fire Centre currently sits at a low to moderate fire danger rating.

Stearns says this year, BC Wildfire has responded to 61 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre with 100 hectares burned since April 1.

Whenever there is lightning in the forecast, BC Wildfire says they keep a very close eye.

"Generally most wildfires are started by lightning strikes. When lightning strikes it can release enough fuel to ignite a tree or other fuels on the ground. Although they can't be prevented we can predict where they might start."

BC Wildfire says there is potential for holdover strikes.

"When lightning strikes, it might not ignite right away. It can hold over for weeks or even a longer period of time so we can see when we have more of that dry weather for that spot where it did hit and where it has been burning under the ground, but not as a surface fire it can ignite and then increase to wildfire at that time," Stearns added.

To report a wildfire call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.

More BC News