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List: Major Valley fires

UPDATE: 9:20 p.m.

BC Wildfire has updated its list of "fires of note," which are defined as fires which are "highly visible or which pose a potential threat to public safety."

There are eight in the Kamloops Fire Centre jurisdiction, which includes the Okanagan Valley and Similkameen.

CARROT MOUNTAIN: The fire, located west of West Kelowna, is 0.1 hectares and zero per cent contained, and was sparked by lightning on Tuesday. 

GOOD CREEK: Located 5 kilometres east of Peachland on the east side of Okanagan Lake in Okanagan Mountain Park, this fire was started by lightning and is estimated at 200 hectares. Airtankers responded yesterday and will be re-deployed as needed. 

LAW CREEK: This lightning-caused fire is located 6 kilometres southwest of West Kelowna, and is estimated at 0.1 hectares. It is zero per cent contained, and has helicopters and local fire department personnel on site. 

MOUNT CONKLE: Plumes from this fire west of Trout Creek on Penticton Indian Band land near Shingle Creek Road were seen around the south end of the valley Tuesday night. It is suspected to have been caused by lightning, and is now at 50 hectares in size. No structures are threatened, and BC Wildfire is responding with 42 personnel, three helicopters, heavy equipment and airtankers. 

MOUNT ENEAS: The fire is located four kilometres south of Peachland, burning in steep terrain. Smoke from this fire briefly closed Highway 97 late Wednesday afternoon. It is estimated at 200 hectares in size, and one BC Wildlife Service officer is currently on site managing the incident, along with a helicopter and airtankers. The cause was lightning. 

MUNRO LAKE FSR: Two kilometres south of Peachland, this fire is lightning-caused and two hectares in size. A rappel crew has been assigned to this fire with the assistance of aviation resources.

OKANAGAN LAKE PARK: This 1.5 hectare fire is located 10 kilometres northwest of Naramata, and was caused by lightening. No details on what resources have been allocated to this fire are available at this time.

PLACER MOUNTAIN: This fire is 50 hectares in size and its cause is still under investigation. It is located 37 kilometres south of Princeton. 33 firefighters and two helicopters are at the scene.


UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

BC Wildfire says The Cariboo Fire Centre has responded to seven new lighting-caused wildfires in the last 24 hours, one of which has already been extinguished.

Two wildfires are burning in the Quesnel Lake area. The largest is the Grain Creek wildfire and is located on the northwest side and north arm of Quesnel Lake. This fire is estimated at two hectares in size.

There are two fires east of highway 97 and south of Williams Lake. The largest is located 12 kilometres east of 141 Mile and is estimated at 0.1 hectares in size.

The Nazko Lake wildfire is five miles south of Nazko Lake Park and 18 kilometres northeast of Alexis Creek. The wildfires is estimated at 0.8 hectares in size.

Ground crews have been assigned to all the wildfires, and will be supported by aviation resources as required.

Environment Canada says more thunderstorms are forecast this evening.

"Quite an active day in terms of Lightning yesterday across the Interior with over 10,000 strikes recorded by our network. More thunderstorms forecast today, some of which may be severe delivering strong winds, heavy downpours & potential hail," ECCC tweeted. 

Enviornment Canada has released an interactive map highlighting the fire dander rating across the province. 


UPDATE 1:55 p.m.

As the afternoon moves into evening, BC Wildfire Service has yet to respond to repeated inquiries from Castanet and other media outlets in regards to fires in the Okanagan. Their last update indicated they are responding to six new lightning-caused fires in the Southeast Fire Centre.

"Four small wildfires are in the Revelstoke area. The largest and most visible is the Clachnacudainn Creek wildfire, located 13 kilometres from Revelstoke by Mount Revelstoke National Park. This incident is three hectares in size and is visible from Highway 1."

Their social media posts indicate, "the Frenchman's Ridge wildfire is approximately 4 kilometres east of Golden, and is estimated at 0.60 hectares."

They are also working on a wildfire approximately 6 kilometres north of Trout Lake.


UPDATE 12:00 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service says they have brought in additional resources from across the province to assist with fighting new wildfires in the Okanagan and Similkameen regions. 

Tuesday night, 22 new wildfires were sparked across the Kamloops Fire Centre during a widespread lightning storm. 

The BC Wildfire Service says they are using "all available resources" to fight the fires today, including airtankers, helicopters, ground crews and rappel crews.

Updates on specific fires are expected from the BC Wildfire Service in the coming hours. 

Currently, several fires can be seen burning above Peachland, while another burns in an unpopulated area above West Kelowna's Glenrosa area.

Farther south, a 50- to 70-hectare wildfire is burning near Conkle Mountain in the Summerland area, but it is not currently threatening any structures.  

A wildfire in Naramata came close to burning a rural home Tuesday evening, before crews were able to get a handle on it.

The map below from the BC Wildfire Service shows recent lightning strikes across the province, with green markings showing more recent strikes than the blue. 


UPDATE 11:30 a.m.

Wayne Moore is live with the Mayor of West Kelowna, Doug Findlater. 


UPDATE:11:10 a.m.

The wildfire above Antler's Beach in Peachland continues to burn, and appears to be growing up the hill.

Peachland resident Charles Rosenow captured a photo of the fire Wednesday morning. He says the fire has visibly grown in the last hour. A large plume of smoke is visible from the hilltop.

"There is a light breeze. As for water bombers I didn't see any. It is growing and will continue to do so until equipment comes," Rosenow said. 

Castanet's Wayne Moore will be live from West Kelowna with more updates soon. 

Moore reports that BC Wildfire crews are actively assessing the wildfire near Glenrosa.

"Several water bombers have been spotted in the area," he said. 


UPDATE 10:05 a.m.

Castanet's Wayne Moore will be live later this morning with the latest on wildfires burning in the region. He has spoken with BC Wildfire Services Brenna Ward, "we are in the process of assessing the highest priorities in the region and where we need to send our planes and spotters. We will have an update as soon as we are able."


UPDATE 8:40 a.m.

Castanet's Wayne Moore is on scene of Tuesday night's fire near Glenrosa, " I can still see smoke in the sky but it's nothing like it was last night. Same with the Smith Creek fire, both appear to be smouldering but not actively blazing at this time at least."

Meantime further south towards Peachland Rod Graham reports seeing an active fire climbing the hill above Antler's beach, "I overlook the south towards Penticton, it's active and candling all the way up. It's probably grown 25 times the size just in the last half hour."

Graham says he has tried to contact BC Wildfire services and the Peachland Fire Chief, "I was surprised they didn't put a couple of buckets on it last night. There was even a helicopter that looked at it and they've done nothing and now it's running up the mountain candling all the way. It's pretty darn scary, there's a trailer park right there. If the wind shifts we could be in trouble."


ORIGINAL 7:50 a.m.

Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon tells Castanet the unsettled weather that rolled across much of the province Tuesday night and hit the Okanagan particularly hard, was considerably stronger than they anticipated. 

"The upper-level disturbance was stronger than we anticipated, we received some thunderstorms obviously, which were quite high based because of the drier air at lower levels."
 
BC Wildfire Services has yet to sign back on for the day but at last report, there were 20 new starts within the Kamloops Fire Centre: Twelve in the Prince George Fire Centre, four in the Southeast Fire Centre, and one each in the Cariboo Fire Centre and Coastal Fire Centre. 

"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. "

One faithful Castanet reader says he, "counted five wildfires from Kelowna to Summerland, three across the lake one above Peachland and a big one above Summerland."

Sekhon says weather conditions will remain unsettled and could potentially bring more lightning to the region, specifically the Kootenays. 

"With this lightning going through that's not good for the forest fire situation."

Sekhon says things are starting to cool down slightly in the Okanagan but there is still unsettled weather anticipated as we head towards the weekend. 

"We're not expecting a lot of thunderstorm activity today. Just in the north kind of in the Thompson area, we could see some lightning strikes this evening and also along  some ridge tops and in the Kootenays but we're not expecting a whole lot over the Okanagan today."

But that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet, "things are going to be fairly unstable all around so wouldn't be surprised if there was some activity over the Okanagan. We can't rule it out. 



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