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Kelowna  

4,000+ lightning strikes

The entire Okanagan Valley appeared to be shaking Tuesday night, as thunder and lightning pummelled the region, sparking several fires.

Roughly 4,000 lightning strikes hit between Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and the surrounding areas through the afternoon until about midnight. Kelowna saw about 250 of them.

Bobby Sekhon, meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the storm system began on the West Coast, hitting Vancouver Island, before making it's way to the province's Southern Interior.

After passing through the Okanagan, the lightning and thunder continued into the Thompson region, through the Kootenays, and all the way to the Red Deer area of Alberta in the early hours of Wednesday.

About 10,000 strikes were recorded province-wide.

While rain fell across the province during the storm, with about three millimetres recorded in Kelowna, several fires were sparked by the storm in the Interior.

The BC Wildfire Service has identified six fires that were sparked through the night in the Princeton, and Southern Interior areas, while a single fire was started west of Armstrong. Another two are burning near Lillooet and Cache Creek.

All but one are currently spot-sized, and fire crews are expected to monitor them throughout the day and respond if necessary.

A lightning-sparked fire burning in the hills north of Keremeos has grown to about two hectares in size after it was sparked in the afternoon. Twenty-seven BC Wildfire Service firefighters are responding to the fire Wednesday.



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