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B.C. wildfire: Dry weather, lightning spark a number of new fires over long weekend

Click to play video 'B.C. wildfires: August 3 update' B.C. wildfires: August 3 update
More hot, dry temperatures are in the forecast this week as B.C. deals with more than forty active wildfires across the province.

More hot, dry temperatures are in the forecast as B.C. deals with more than 40 active wildfires across the province.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said there are about 48 active wildfires in B.C., more than half of which were sparked over the weekend.

Click to play video 'Heat and thunderstorm warnings spark wildfire concerns in B.C.' Heat and thunderstorm warnings spark wildfire concerns in B.C.
Heat and thunderstorm warnings spark wildfire concerns in B.C.

“What we’ve seen is a slow start to the season this year, but now with this hot weather we’re seeing a significant increase,” he said.

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A wildfire is burning on the west side of Harrison Lake not far from Chehalis.

A large plume of smoke can be seen from the Harrison Hot Springs resort. The wildfire was discovered Sunday and is estimated to be five hectares in size. It’s unclear if any structures are threatened. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

A three-hectare blaze in West Kelowna can be seen by long-weekend vacationers on Okanagan Lake and nearby beaches. The blaze is burning near the Rose Valley reservoir area. It’s not known if any structures are threatened by the fire

The B.C. wildfire service says our current heatwave — paired with thunder cells — has created the perfect storm ripe for wildfires.

“The hot weather is still persisting,” said Gagan Lidhran with the BC Wildfire Service.

“We really want the public to be mindful that because we’ve had an increase in lightning-caused wildfires now is the time to really be fire safe and to really reduce our risk of human-caused wildfires.”

Click to play video 'Rising temperatures push up the wildfire risk in B.C.' Rising temperatures push up the wildfire risk in B.C.
Rising temperatures push up the wildfire risk in B.C.

A sweep of dry thunderstorms has sparked new fires in Kamloops and the southeast fire centre. Most of the fires sparked in the past 48 hours are believed to be lightning-caused.

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One of the most visible is the East Pooley Lake fire, burning about 30 kilometres east of Kamloops. The largest fire in Solco Creek is currently burning out of control at more than 13 hectares in size. As it stands no structures are threatened by those fires.

Crews continue to battle the Green Mountain fire in Nanaimo. The blaze was first reported Friday afternoon and was likely sparked by lightning and quickly grew to roughly 16 hectares in size by Sunday.

The blaze is encroaching on the habitat of the Vancouver Island marmot, one of the rarest animals in the world. There are fewer than 200 of them in the wild.