Keep your eyes on the forests.
That’s the message from Michaela Swan, fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre.
Thunderstorms that began Thursday, Aug. 2, and continued to roll through the Interior over the weekend, spawned 78 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre – nine of them in the Salmon Arm Zone.
Some of the fires ignited by lightning strikes include – at Herald Park, Tillis Landing above Eagle Bay, Anstey Arm and on Mount Griffin near Three Valley Gap.
All were remote and spot-sized, and attacked quickly thanks to an observant public.
“We really, truly support the public for reporting them,” says Swan, noting the fire danger rating is extreme in the Salmon Arm area and most of the Shuswap, and that continuing hot, dry weather will make conditions even worse.
Considering frequent high winds and how dry the fuels were before the recent storms, Swan says the rain accompanying the storms has done little to ease the risk.
The fire ban, including campfires, continues, and Swan says fire wardens are reporting good compliance, with only a few reports of people ignoring or pleading ignorance of the ban.
Reports from conservation officers were not yet available Tuesday morning.
Swan says there is no doubt sleeper strikes from recent storms will waken and give rise to yet more wildfires – and extra vigilance on the part of the public will be greatly appreciated.
Anyone who sees smoke or a fire, is asked to call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone.