Blue Grouse fire doused quickly
Jul 9, 2012 / 8:00 pm
Mother Nature provided a huge helping hand to forestry crews battling several fires in and around the Central Okanagan Monday evening.
While lightning caused at least three small spot fires as an electrical storm passed through the Okanagan Valley, heavier than expected rainfall helped keep those fires relatively small in size.
Fire Information Officer, Kevin Skrepnek, says crews were bracing themselves for a drier storm than the one that actually hit.
Skrepnek says they were expecting less than a millimetre of rain to fall in conjunction with the lightning storm.
" We got a lot more than that almost across the board," says Skrepnek.
Lightning sparked a fire near Blue Grouse Mountain shortly before 5 p.m.
Skrepnek says an attack plane that had been fighting a small forest fire near Layer Cake Mountain circled back and hit the Blue Grouse fire.
"That fire was just 20 X 20 so our plane dropped retardant directly onto it. It's called blanketing," says Skrepnek.
"Normally, planes drop retardant at the edge of a fire not directly on top of it."
Skrepnek says two crews consisting of six firefighters are mopping up that fire.
Another small lightning-caused spot fire hit in the Loon Lake area near Highway 97C and the Aspen Grove turnoff.
Again, Skrepnek says accompanying rain kept the fire to a small size allowing crews to quickly knock that one down.
Several hundred lightning strikes have hit the valley since the storm reached the Okanagan about 4 p.m. Monday.
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