Storm sparks blaze in Anstey Arm

A thunderstorm that blew through the Shuswap last night sparked a fire in a forestry cut block high above Anstey Arm.

A thunderstorm that blew through the Shuswap last night sparked a fire in a forestry cut block high above Anstey Arm.

A three-person rap attack  team drove to the scene where they got assistance from a forest company, who used their heavy equipment to build a fire guard.

The fire was mapped at one hectare today and another eight-person fire crew had been deployed to help quell the blaze.

While this fire is in a remote area, far away from homes, Kayla Pepper, fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre, says there is a strong possibility other holdover lightning strikes will grow from smoulder to smoke and flame.

“It was quite a strong system that produced a lot of lightning,” says Pepper.

She says most of the Salmon Arm Fire Zone is in a moderate to high danger rating, with a pocket of extreme danger in Deep Creek and in the South Canoe and Broadview areas within City of Salmon Arm boundaries.

While members of the public called in the Anstey Arm fire, Pepper says they haven’t been so prompt in other areas.

“Sometimes they think someone else will have called it in, but they could be the first one to see it,” she says, encouraging people to report any smoke or flame they spot, unless they can see fire crews responding. “Obviously the members of the public are one of our best resources.”

As well as patrolling the area with helicopters to watch for holdover fires, patrols will be out on the water and on land looking for unattended camp fires.

“This is a huge concern, especially as we see the wildfire risk increase in the Shuswap,” says Pepper, noting abandoned fires have already been discovered.

To report smoke or fire, call  1-800-663-5555 or *5555 toll free on most cell phones.

Alternatively, call 911.

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