The sound and fury of weekend lightning strikes have subsided, but the risk of a flare-up remains.
The season’s first significant lightning activity since the onset of hot, dry weather sparked 68 forest fires since Friday.
Eighteen of those were in the Kamloops fire region, including a 4.6-hectare blaze above Dairy Road. Another dozen fires broke out in the Cariboo region, the largest of them contained at 13 hectares.
B.C. Forest Service said most of the blazes are under control, having been attacked by air and ground crews.
Much of the lightning activity late Sunday took place within the triangle of Merritt, Cache Creek and the South Okanagan. Kamloops proper was left relatively unscathed with the exception of the Westsyde blaze, said Kevin Skrepnek of the Provincial Wildife Co-ordination Centre.
“There was a lot of lightning on the weekend, but thankfully it came with a lot of precipitation that kept everything wet,” Skrepnek said.
The Dairy Road fire was fully contained Monday and in the mop-up stage. That doesn’t mean the area is in the clear.
“We can see holdover fires as long as a week after the strikes occurred.”
With firefighting resources concentrated on the lightning-caused fires, there are fewer resources to devote to human-caused blazes, Skrepnek noted. That brings a reminder to the public to be extra cautious with campfires. Ensure the fire pit is cold to the touch before leaving. The ministry has come across campfires left unattended.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your cell phone or call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free.
For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website: www.bcwildfire.ca.