Heat warning ends

UPDATE 5:30 a.m.

Environment Canada has now lifted the heat warning in effect for much of the province and specifically the Okanagan this week.

Wednesday and Thursday are both expected to push the 30-degree Celsius mark and the temperature is expected to continue to cool heading into the weekend.

The cooler temperatures will also give firefighters a break as they continue to battle fires sparked by lightning.

Coastal areas will have a campfire ban go into effect at noon on Wednesday.

UPDATE 11:11 p.m.

Sudden unexpected lightning across B.C. and up and down the Valley sparked numerous fires and flare-ups.

BC Wildfire Service and numerous volunteers were battling the blazes right up until nightfall, before signing off for the evening.

"There were 20 new starts within the Kamloops Fire Centre today, 12 in the Prince George Fire Centre, four in the Southeast Fire Centre, and one each in the Cariboo Fire Centre and Coastal Fire Centre."

According to their social media posts BC Wildfires says, "most of these new wildfires are considered to have been caused from the lightning that passed through this evening, and the number of new wildfires is expected to increase as more are discovered in the coming days."

Castanet will continue to cover this developing situation.

We'll be back in the morning with new information as it becomes available.

UPDATE 10:13 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service says the province has experienced widespread lightning in many areas across B.C., and new wildfire starts are taking place, according to their social media, "we are receiving numerous reports from the public, leading to a high volume of calls. If you are witnessing new wildfire activity that you suspect has not yet been reported, please call *5555 on a cell phone or toll-free 1-800-663-5555 immediately. We appreciate your patience in the case of delays getting through."

In the Kamloops Fire Centre, the BC Wildfire Service is responding to 13 new wildfires in the Okanagan and Similkameen area with ground crews, helicopters, and airtankers. Additional resources are on route to assist. At this time, there are no known threats to structures.

New wildfires have also occurred in the Prince George Fire Centre. More information will be posted as it is available.

UPDATE 9:56 p.m.

Anastasia Jenkins tells Castanet the fire is above BX mountain in east Vernon, "Holy cow that fire is growing fast! It looks like its going up the side of the mountain."

"We're looking above BX area in east Vernon there were lightning strikes that hit the mountain and I'd say there is a three to four-acre fire burning right now. This has turned into a full-blown fire that is burning up the side of the mountain."

ORIGINAL 9:17 p.m.

Lightning strikes have sparked numerous wildfires throughout the Okanagan Valley Tuesday evening. Castanet has received new information of lightning strike in the hills east of Vernon that has sparked a large and growing fire.

Anastasia Jenkins says,"the lightning struck on the side of the hill and the fire has spread quickly and appears to be growing fast."

Castanet Vernon News Director Josh Winquest is on the ground in the area and will have more information as it becomes available.


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