A recent lightning storm was responsible for several new fires

Fire season hits Okanagan-Shuswap

Lightning storm sparks several wildfires in the region.

A thunderstorm that ripped through the Kamloops Fire Centre Sunday night produced more than 1,200 lightning strikes, sparking 50 new fires.

Kelsey Winter, fire information officer at the fire centre in Kamloops, said fire crews were being dispatched to confirm reports of multiple new fires in the Salmon Arm Fire Zone alone, including those at Wap Creek, Grassy Lake and Mabel Lake.

Among those new fires is one at Yard Creek in Malakwa. It was reported Monday afternoon and, as of Tuesday, was estimated to be one hectare in size. Winter said air tanker support had been requested to combat the blaze.

Meteorologist Matt MacDonald says Environment Canada maps indicate that between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Sunday, July 19, there were 105 lightning strikes in an area from Chase to Revelstoke and from the southern end of Mabel Lake to Adams Lake.

While thunderstorms were forecast in the Shuswap for last night and tonight, MacDonald says Friday into Saturday looks like the best chance for rain this week.

“We’re seeing a change,” he said, noting Sunday’s 33C was one degree shy of a record but that high temperatures were to begin dropping by five degrees by Tuesday. “There’s a big trough of low pressure that will keep temperatures cooler; the humidity will go up and there’s a chance of showers throughout the week.”

After next Monday, temperatures are expected to rise again with another stretch of dry weather.