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Lightning strike near South Okanagan home starts fire

Lightning strikes near South Okanagan home, causing fire

A resounding boom of a single lightning strike from Monday afternoon’s electrical storm that blew through Osoyoos caused Donna Ferguson to jump toward the ceiling.

"The house shook!" Ferguson told Global News. “At the same time there was also a flash from the lightning.”

“It scared us!”

Less than two minutes later, Ferguson and her husband saw smoke rising from the forest on the hillside across from their Anarchist Mtn. home and knew they had to try and put out the growing flames.

READ MORE: Osoyoos fires under control, being monitored

“He got into his truck and went blowing his horn to his neighbour. The neighbour grabbed his tractor and they were gone down to Maguire Road,” she said.

As the neighbours assembled at the lightning-caused fire, the Anarchist Mtn. fire department was called to assist them.

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“I had to follow the smoke and I came up here and there were three or four neighbours already digging around,” Anarchist Mtn. Fire Department chief Urs Grob said. “One of the crews attended here and pulled a hose from down the hill up here and put some water on it.”

The fire was doused. But when crews returned to check on it Tuesday morning, it was once again smoldering.

READ MORE: RCMP warning public of telemarketing fraud in Osoyoos

The B.C. Wildfire Service was called in to assist on the larger fires caused by lightning strikes in the area.

“We had the air tanker on the Big Horn fire just to take some extra steps,” Grob said.

There were four fires caused by lightning strikes in total near Osoyoos on Monday, he said. The Big Horn fire grew to about 30 square metres.

The storm took about a half hour to move through the area, according to Grob.