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


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

Okanagan and Shuswap blossom at Communities in Bloom awards

District of Sicamous, City of Armstrong double winners at B.C. awards gala; Lumby also a winner

Internet speed testing implemented in the CSRD

Test results will be tracked to find areas where improvement is needed.

Sicamous Eagles lose two on the road

Despite late offensive surges, the Sicamous squad came up short in Spokane and the Beaver Valley.

What financial commitments do you want from candidates running for prime minister?

As the federal election quickly approaches, the Observer took to the streets… Continue reading

In photos: Magician entertains in downtown Salmon Arm

Children of Salmon Arm were treated to the wonders of magician Leif… Continue reading

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Former South Okanagan resident found dead in Alberta

Candace Deleeuw was reported missing Sept. 16

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Most Read