Thunderstorms spark 140 new lightning-caused fires across B.C.

From Wednesday to Friday night, there were 17,830 lightning strikes across B.C. Joel Rickard

It’s been a busy few days for the BC Wildfire Service, with thunderstorms sparking 100-plus new lightning-caused fires this week.

According to the provincial agency, from Wednesday to Friday night, there were 17,830 lightning strikes across the province.

“In that time period, there have been 140 new wildfire incidents caused by lightning,” said BC Wildfire.

Click to play video: 'Timelapse of Friday night thunderstorm in Okanagan'
Timelapse of Friday night thunderstorm in Okanagan

However, it quickly noted that 52 per cent of those new wildfires were classified as ‘out’, held or under control.

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This week’s lightning strike totals

  • Wednesday, Aug. 10: 4,018 lightning strikes
  • Thursday, Aug. 11: 5,205 lightning strikes
  • Friday, Aug. 12: 8,607 lightning strikes

Friday’s lightning strike totals, by fire centre:

  • Cariboo Fire Centre: 433
  • Coastal Fire Centre: 668
  • Kamloops Fire Centre: 2,665
  • Northwest Fire Centre: 2,016
  • Prince George Fire Centre:776
  • Southeast Fire Centre: 784

To view BC Wildfire’s stages of control, visit its website.

Click to play video: 'Viewer photos of colourful Okanagan sunset, thunderstorm'
Viewer photos of colourful Okanagan sunset, thunderstorm

Of note, BCWS said it’s predicting possible thunderstorms for Saturday, along with some isolated showers.

Fire information officer Forrest Tower called the thunderstorms good and bad, adding it could bring needed precipitation. However, he also said thunderstorms usually have strong winds, which could fan a fire.

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“So it’s something we’re paying attention to over the next couple of days,” said Tower.

“And then going into next week, it looks like we’re back into a warm and drying trend.”

Click to play video: 'Thunderstorm rolls through Okanagan at sunset'
Thunderstorm rolls through Okanagan at sunset

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