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16 wildfires started on Vancouver Island after Sunday’s lightning storm

Fire Information officer Dorta Jacobsen says right now there are 93 active wildfires in the province. B.C. Wildfire Service

The BC Wildfire Service says 16 wildfires started on Vancouver Island after Sunday night’s lightning storm.

Two fires are close to the Sooke Reservoir where many people living in Victoria get their drinking water.

Both the Sooke Lake and Mount Healey fires are eight hectares in size, and considered out of control.

Fire information officer Dorthe Jakobsen says most of the new fires are from lightning.

Read more: As B.C. temperatures heat up, the risk of human-caused wildfires grows

“This was a lot of dry lightning,” she said. “And we had just had a spell of good, hot, dry weather so the forest fuel was dry. Lightning strikes easily ignited these fires.”

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Over in the Southeast Fire Centre, 25 new fires started, with the majority of them being in the Arrow and Kootenay Lake areas.

Right now there are 93 active wildfires across the province, 78 of those started in the last two days.

Jakobsen says before this weekend, they were having a fairly calm wildfire season.

She now expects more to start this week.

“We expect to pick up more fires over the next couple days and weeks,” she said. “They can smoulder for a while when we don’t see them and then when it gets hot they kick up and then we can see the plume and action them.”

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