After a brief but intense burst of lightning strikes hit the Shuswap in the early evening of July 31, BC Wildfire Service crews began working to asses and suppress fires that started during the storm.
The fire most visible from the Shuswap’s populated areas started at the top of Bastion Mountain north of Salmon Arm. An aircraft was seen circling the mountain shortly after the smoky fire became visible.
Suppression work on the blaze began quickly, with a Rapattack crew inserted by helicopter to begin attacking the Bastion Mountain fire at approximately 8:40 p.m.
A heli-tanker provided support to the Bastion crew until sundown. The next morning, an eight-person ground crew moved in to take over work on the fire.
East of the Bastion Mountain blaze, a three-person crew began suppression work on another fire in the Bastion Point area.
The storm also started a fire in the hills above the west shore of Mara Lake. The fire was assessed Tuesday morning but suppression efforts hadn’t begun as of press time as BC Wildfire crews were required to work on more than 20 new fires started by the lightning storm across the Kamloops Fire Centre.
Another fire started approximately 15 kilometres southeast of Sicamous. Six BC Wildfire Service personnel were on scene as of press time. At the time, the BC Wildfire Service’s online map stated the fire measured .15 of a hectare.
A second fire appearing on the map near Sicamous proved to be a smoke chase, or an incorrect report.
A fire in the Larch Hills showing on the online map proved to be a duplicate report of the fire near Mara Lake.
None of the fires in the Shuswap area are near populated areas or threatening structures.
A total of 132 new fires started in B.C. on July 31.