Strong winds and lightning have upped the number of new fires burning in BC.
The BC Wildfire Service says 28 new fires started on Saturday, with 163 currently active.
“Lightning was responsible for the majority of the new fires,” says information officer Ryan Turcot. “We did some see some pretty gusty winds which led to aggressive behaviour and growth on many of the fires burning in the Cariboo region. We do expect gusty winds will continue to challenge firefighting efforts in the Cariboo and across the south. There is also a chance of lightning throughout the Cariboo, Kamloops fire centres moving ahead.”
The only new fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre was in Winfield on Lodge Road Saturday afternoon, a shed fire that was put out by the Lake Country and provincial fire crews, and led to a closure of the highway at the time.
The Elephant Hill Fire between Cache Creek and Clinton, is the only wildfire of note in the Kamloops Fire Centre.
It’s now estimated at 149, 914 hectares.
“The fire did spread north to the south shores of Green Lake and east to Deadman Valley,” says Turcot.
The Kokanee Creek fire, 15 km’s northeast of Nelson, started Saturday, believed by lightning, leading to an evacuation alert for 135 properties for Sitkum Creek and Crescent Bay on the north shore of Kootenay Lake.
RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts says they had a busy night, with over 500 people evacuated in Canim Lake, Hawkins Lake, and the Canim Reserve due to fires in the 100 Mile House area.
There have been 1,003 fires since April 1, burning 664,920 hectares, costing $285 million to fight.
More than 4-thousand personnel are fighting the fires, including 682 from out of province.