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Posted: July 11, 2015

Lightning wreaks havoc in Southeast Fire Centre

The thunderstorms and heavy rain experienced in some areas of the Kootenays yesterday may have cooled things down a bit but lightning has the Southeast Fire Centre (SFC) hopping once again.

Since yesterday, there have been 44 new lightning-caused wildfires across the SFC.

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to these new incidents on a priority basis.

One of these fires is two kilometres south of Silverton and east of Highway 6, near Beaverton Creek and the base of Mount Aylwin. It is currently estimated at seven hectares in size. BC Wildfire Service crews, helicopters and air tankers are on scene.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has issued an Evacuation Alert in the area. For more information on this Alert, please visit: http://www.rdck.ca

Other prominent fires include:

– A .7 hectare fire near China Creek, three kilometres west of Castlegar;

– A group of four small fires directly across Lower Arrow Lake from Deer Park;

– A .4 hectare fire near Nemo Creek, two kilometres off the west shore of Slocan Lake.

During times of increased activity, the BC Wildfire Service prioritizes fires and wildfire suppression response. If fires are not posing an immediate threat to residences we may make resources available for higher priority incidents. The primary objectives of the BC Wildfire Service are the safety of our crews, along with protecting life and property.

The BC Wildfire Service is engaging contract crews, industry partners and local fire departments in wildfire suppression and response. Given the many high priority wildfires province-wide, resources are ultimately limited.

The Southeast Fire Centre is expecting more thunderstorms through the weekend with equally spotty showers. Temperatures will be variable, but still warmer than normal in many areas today. The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to be extra cautious in the backcountry. All person-caused fires are preventable and these incidents may affect the ability of the firefighting crews to respond to naturally occurring fires.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

Lead image: A clip extracted from a video capturing a lightning strike at Monroe Lake last week. Photo by Linda Botterill

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