The Salmon Arm Fire Department uses an extending ladder truck to douse flames near the top of an approximate 70-foot tree that was struck by lightning Saturday night, Sept. 8 in the 1300 block of Foothill Road. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Thunderstorm shuts down Salmon Arm Fall Fair early Saturday night, ignites tree

Fair expected to continue Sunday as planned

Mother Nature put an abrupt stop to activities at the Salmon Arm Fall Fair Saturday night.

Following a hot, sometimes muggy day, heavy grey clouds began to roll in around 6 p.m. It wasn’t until between 8:30 and 9 though that sprinkles of rain morphed into a humbling light show of sheet and fork lightning. The illuminated sky was soon accompanied by sheets of heavy rain.

As well as causing people to scramble for shelter and struggle to protect electrical equipment, musical instruments and the like, it soon sent Salmon Arm firefighters scrambling as well.

Although a call for a residential fire turned out to be a false alarm, several reports of a tall tree on fire were not.

Read more: Storm rampages through Interior with more than 10,000 lightning strikes

Read more: Salmon Arm Fair attendance best in 10 years

The tree, in the 1300 block of Foothill Road, stood in the 60- to 70-foot tall range and had been struck by lightning near the top.

An extending ladder truck was brought in. The ladder was swiveled around and extended high above the truck so a firefighter could get close enough to spray the hot spots with water.

After the job was done, the weather cooperated by offering another dousing of heavy rain.

Thunder and lightning continued for well over an hour Saturday night, so the Wildfire Service will be checking for spot fires in the region for the next few days. The area experienced a similarly volatile storm on Sept. 3 that had moved across the province.

A check of the Salmon Arm fairgrounds around 10 p.m. revealed that the gates were closed, although the midway lights were on, music was playing and rain was still falling.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Sheets of rain pelt down and bounce off the street during a thunderstorm that struck Salmon Arm just before 9 p.m. on Saturday night, Sept. 8, putting a damper on fall fair festivities. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

A Salmon Arm firefighter prepares to use the hose to douse flames in a tall fir tree that was struck by lightning Saturday night in the 1300 block of Foothill Road. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Landslide stops repair crew from reaching internet service tower near Salmon Arm

MyBC Datacom users in Tappen, Sunnybrae, White Lake and parts of the Salmon Valley may be affected

Salmon Arm’s Elijah Lazar wins provincial wrestling title

Lazar overcomes Parmjot Sidhu from DW Poppy Secondary in the final on Feb. 17

Chase Heat in fine form as season winds down

The team’s first playoff opponents will be the 100 Mile House Wranglers.

Axe throwing, road hockey among Salmon Arm food drive festivities

Fill the Pantry event wraps up on Monday, Feb. 17 with day of activities. 600lbs of food collected.

Shuswap artists come into focus for upcoming exhibit

Salmon Arm Art Gallery presents 20/20, an open community exhibition

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Most Read