Monday, March 30th13.1°C

Lightning strikes the Okanagan

Wednesday's brief, but dramatic electrical storm cut a swath through the Okanagan.

According to Kelsey Winter with the Kamloops Fire Centre as many as 50 lightning strikes were reported in the region from Penticton north to Salmon Arm.

Winter says 10 of those strikes caused new fires, however, none were serious.

Castanet News has received reports of lightning strikes in and around property. One resident of Armstrong says lightning hit his house about 8 p.m. Wednesday.

"My wife and kids were home at the time. It gave them a good scare," says the homeowner.

"Some shingles were found up to 50 feet away."

Lightning split a tree in East Kelowna while other strikes were reported in the Rose Valley area and over Okanagan Lake.

There were no reports of injuries.

Winter says more lightning is expected in the Kamloops Fire Region over the next 24 to 48 hours.

She asks people to be aware of lightning strikes and to call 1‑800‑663‑5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks if you spot a fire.

Meantime, Winter says forestry crews are in the mop-up stages of a fire on Highway 3 just west of Osoyoos.

The fire, which reached 9.4 hectares in size, flared up following a collision late Wednesday afternoon involving two semi's.

The vehicles exploded on impact.

"Seven personnel, air tankers from Kamloops and Penticton as well as a helicopter responded to the fire," says Winter.

She says personnel monitored the fire overnight. About 20 crew members were back on scene this morning mopping up and putting out hot spots.


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