Summer’s first major thunderstorm was impressive visually but didn’t pose a significant fire risk.
Thunder and lighting rolled through the North Okanagan Wednesday night, generating eight wildfires.
“Everything remained at spot size (less than 0.1 hectares) because of the significant amount of rain that fell after the lightning,” said Kayla Pepper, an information officer with the Ministry of Forests.
Crews spent most of Thursday checking for any spot fires that the rain may not have extinguished.
“Fire wardens were heading out and aircraft were heading out,” said Pepper.
Among the areas reported to have fires Wednesday were Brookfield Road in Lumby, Galiano Road and Silver Star in the BX, Goose Lake in the Swan Lake area and above Stepping Stones Road on the Okanagan Indian Reserve.
Lumby firefighters tackled a small blaze near Rawlings Lake Road.
“It wasn’t anything threatening,” said fire chief Tony Clayton.
“There was no risk to the urban interface.”
There were 25 lightning-caused fires throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre — which covers from the North Thompson to the South Okanagan.
All of them burned a total of about two hectares of land.
“We were getting several hundred initial reports of strikes,” said Pepper of the conditions in the Interior.
Prior to Wednesday’s storm, 80 per cent of the wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre were listed as person-caused.
Pepper is urging the public to be cautious with cigarette butts and other sources of ignition.
“Make sure your campfires are extinguished,” she said.
Wednesday’s thunder storm also kept B.C. Hydro crews and emergency personnel busy.
Minor power outages occurred through the North Okanagan, and the Vernon Fire Department reports six fire alarms being set off because of power bumps.
Kelowna firefighters experienced extreme conditions Wednesday.
The department there responded to 91 incidents in a four-hour period, including 10 smoke sightings, six wildfires, 22 reports of flooding, two marine rescues on Okanagan Lake, 27 fire alarms, a fire in a high-rise hotel and a hazardous materials incident involving an ammonia leak.
“Almost all available fire apparatus were pressed into service to deal with the volume of calls received in a priority sequence,” said Jason Brolund, Kelowna deputy fire chief, in a release.