Four new fires in the North Okanagan were added to the BC Wildfire’s list as of July 1, but two have already been snuffed or are in the mop-up process.
A 0.01-hectare fire is still burning around Seidner Lake but the cause is unknown for the new fire burning east of Silver Star Provincial Park.
A believed lightning-caused fire is burning around the Valentine Taylor Forest Service Road between Falkland and Westwold.
A fire reported near Spanish Lake, near Falkland, was estimated at 0.01 hectares. But residents were quick to correct the location, noting it was closer to Kneller Road, “above the old 2003 burn,” said Makayla Hentges on a post to the Falkland BC Facebook group.
“A lightning strike caused a tree to explode around 3:30 a.m., it was visible from Cedar Hill to Whispering Pine,” she wrote.
Hentges said it was quickly contained thanks to two residents who were actioning the fire before BC Wildfire Services arrived on scene to remove the few standing trees still smouldering.
The fire was reported to BC Wildfire using the *5555 cellphone option, she added.
BC Wildfire Services have yet to reply to a request for comment regarding the fires near Falkland.
Meanwhile, the Spa Creek fire in Yankee Flats was the immediate area’s largest, estimated at around 0.4 hectares, according to BC Wildfires’ dashboard.
The fire was reported just before noon on July 1 and Silver Creek firefighters were first on the scene, described it as a somewhat cleared area where flames were moving towards a stand of nearby trees.
Columbia Shuswap Regional District Fire Services co-ordinator Sean Coubrough said the Deep Creek Ranchero and Falkland fire departments were immediately called to provide mutual aid. The BC Wildfire Service was also called to provide assistance.
BC Wildfire crews were mopping up the remains of it yesterday around 5:10 p.m.
The agency suspects it was human-caused but an investigation is ongoing.
Twenty-eight fires are actively burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre, according to the agency.
A provincewide fire ban went into effect June 30 at noon. Anyone found in violation of the ban can be fined $1,150 or face up to one year in jail and be ordered to pay firefighting costs if the fire sparks a wildfire.
To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone) as soon as possible.
– with Lachlan Labere, Black Press Media files
*Editor’s Note: This story was updated to reflect the most up-to-date information.