Lightning sparks new wildfires near Kamloops, Merritt | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Lightning sparks new wildfires near Kamloops, Merritt

One of two fires in the Kamloops area was discovered across Kamloops Lake from Tobiano on Monday morning, July 18, 2022.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Mark Lawrence

Two new, small wildfires were spotted in the Kamloops area today, but there may be more popping up thanks to last night's thunderstorms.

One on the north side of Kamloops Lake is burning in the Frederick Landing, across the lake from Tobiano, according to B.C. Wildfire Service.

That fire, and another east of Black Pines, were discovered last night, July 17. Each are estimated at just 0.01 hectares in size.

They are both suspected to be caused by lightning. Near Knouff Creek, the fire east of Black Pines was contained Sunday night after firefighters responded to the area, according to fire information officer Taylor MacDonald.

Later in the day, another plume of smoke was spotted from a fire southeast of Barnhartvale, near Upper Buse Lake. The wildfire service reports it also to be around 0.01 hectares in size.

A Sunday night storm brought lightning to the area as it moved from the North Okanagan to the Shuswap region and into the Thompson and Nicola valleys.

South of the Nicola River, there is a cluster of four small fires west of Merritt. All were spotted Monday morning and are also suspected to have been caused by lightning, McDonald said.

There are currently no reported wildfires in the Shuswap or North Okanagan region due to lightning, but McDonald said hold over fires can take some time to ignite as they burn beneath forest floors after a lightning storm.

"As days heat up, they can flare up and cause wildfires," she said. "We'll keep our eyes and ears peeled and ask the public to do the same."

Depending on weather conditions and the moisture in forest, she said hold over fires can take days, weeks and even months to flare up.

— This story was updated at 11:32 a.m. July 18, 2022, with information from B.C. Wildfire Service fire information officer Taylor McDonald.

— This story was updated at 3:55 p.m., July 18, 2022, with information on a new wildfire near Upper Buse Lake.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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