July 8, 2019 9:25 pm

Lightning storms spark cluster of new wildfires across B.C.’s northwest

Lightning strikes in the Okanagan in the summer of 2018. The BC Wildfire Service says it has been called to multiple new wildfires in the province's northwest that are believed to have been sparked by lightning strikes.

Lucky Bromhead

The BC Wildfire Service says it is dealing with a cluster of new wildfires in the province’s northwest, many caused by lightning storms that have moved through the region.

The service said it has responded to nine new fires since July 5, most of them detected within the last 24 hours, and most still smaller than one hectare.

In the Nadina Fire Zone, crews are tackling a fire near the Burnie River about 75 kilometres west of Houston. The service says the less than one-hectare fire is classified as being held.

In the Bulkley Fire Zone, crews were at a less than one-hectare smouldering ground fire about four kilometres southwest of Witset on the north side of Duckwing Lake on Monday.

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In the Skeena Fire Zone, crews were working to put out three different fires on Monday.

One is burning about 30 kilometres south of Terrace, near Highway 37. It covers less than one hectare, and is classified as under control.

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Another fire is burning about 3.5 kilometres northeast of Bell II, and is also smaller than one hectare and under control.

A third half-hectare fire is burning about 35 kilometres east of Kitimat, near the Kitimat River, but is classified as out of control. Crews were on site Monday, according to the wildfire service.

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Meanwhile, in the Cassiar Fire Zone, four new fires were burning on Monday.

Ground and air crews were working two out of control fires about 33 kilometres southwest of Bob Quinn Lake, both less than one hectare in size.

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Crews were also monitoring a much larger 250-hectare out of control fire in remote terrain about 135 kilometres northwest of Dease Lake, and developing a response plan.

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A fourth, six-hectare fire was burning about 40 kilometres west of Atlin on the southwest arm of Taglish Lake. The fire was also classified as out of control, and crews were monitoring it and developing a response plan Monday, the wildfire service said.

Wildfire officials added that smoke visible throughout the Cassiar Fire Zone was actually coming from larger wildfires burning in Alaska and the Yukon.

The service said that more lightning was forecast throughout the region on Monday and Tuesday, and crews were conducting ground and air patrols to look for new fires.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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