Six small wildfires in the region after overnight lightning storm | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Six small wildfires in the region after overnight lightning storm

Six new wildfires were sparked early Friday morning after a thunderstorm rolled over the Thompson and North Okanagan regions.

While it's too early to say exactly what caused the fires, the storm cell that brought lightning over Kamloops, Vernon and Ashcroft is the likely culprit.

"From the Vernon area travelling east, the lightning did come with some rain, which has the potential to keep the fires in the ground longer," B.C. Wildfire information officer Mikhail Elsay said.

The Kamloops and Ashcroft area, however, is much drier and has a greater risk for fires after the storm.

The two larger wildfires that were spotted so far are southwest of Ashcroft, with one at two hectares and the other up to 16.

Elsay said the wildfire service sent a helicopter and heavy equipment, along with a ground crew, to tackle the fires. The same crew is working to contain both fires since they aren't far from each other.

There's two more fires between Ashcroft and Kamloops and another two near Vernon, but all four are estimated to be smaller than one hectare.

Along with the six reported new fires, lightning brings the potential for holdover fires, which can smoulder underground for days, or even weeks, before smoke is visible.

Witnesses of suspected new wildfires can call 1-800-663-5555, or *5555 from a cellphone, to report to B.C. Wildfire Service.

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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