A number of wildfires sparked in the Kamloops Fire Centre as lightning struck the Southern Interior of B.C. Friday evening, July 31, 2020. (Black Press file)

Fourteen blazes sparked in Kamloops Fire Centre

Lightning the suspected cause of all fires but one; cause of Solco Creek blaze remains unknown

Fourteen wildfires are active in the Kamloops Fire Centre after lightning struck throughout the province Friday night.

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At 8:41 p.m. there were approximately 11 lightning strikes a minute in the Kamloops area. (Lightningmaps.org)

Of the 14 blazes, 14 are less than .01 hectares in size according to the BC Wildfire Dashboard.

A wildfire burning out-of-control in the Solco Creek area near Okanagan Falls has grown to an estimated 13.80 hectares. The blaze was estimated to be 5 ha. in size when first reported on Thursday. The blaze is currently smouldering and has little to no open flame, Fire Information Officer Gagan Lidhram said Saturday afternoon.

Two pieces of heavy equipment are on scene, and a fire guard has been established around 20 per cent of the Solco Creek blaze.

“Between 12 to 4 p.m. is the hottest part of the day, and that’s also when the fuels are the driest, so we’re trying to get on top of it and ensure that there is no growth from that period onward,” Gagan said.

A fire in Shackan Creek, east of Lytton, is currently estimated at 0.4 hectares in size.

All current fires are suspected to have been caused by lightning with the exception of the Solco Creek blaze, which does not currently have a known cause.

READ MORE: Solco Creek fire east of Okanagan Falls estimated 5 hectares

Small wildfires at an estimated 0.01 hectares have been sparked in the following areas:

  • Frisken Creek, near the Upper Nicola
  • Manning Creek, near the Upper Nicola
  • Monte Lake, off Highway 97
  • Green Lake, off Highway 5A
  • Ketchum Road, off Highway 5A
  • Otter Creek, off Highway 5A
  • Elk Lake, off Highway 5A
  • Dillard Creek , off Highway 5A
  • Silver Star Mountain, near Vernon
  • Nuaitch Creek
  • Duck Hills
  • Martin Mountain Branch 2
  • Swain Creek
  • Cahilty Main

Crews are monitoring the small fires in case any of them require action. More fires could also be reported as reports to BC Wildfire Service continue to come in.

“We’re constantly monitoring all of the phone reports,” Gagan said. “We’re still getting significant ones within the Kamloops and Salmon Arm area.”

Gagan thanked those who have been calling in to provide BC Wildfire Service with essential information.

“It really helps us with getting action to the fires as quickly as possible.”

READ MORE: Two wildfires burning east of Okanagan Falls

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