The thunder and lightning storm that flowed over the West Kootenay Monday evening sparked up wildfires in the region, including eight in the Slocan Valley in the mountains surrounding Winlaw.
The Fairful Creek fire, the Watson Creek fire and the Talbot Creek fire, all located southwest of Winlaw, are listed as "out of control" on the BC Wildfire Interactive Map. The Talbot Creek fire is the largest at five hectares.
The Perrys -Draw Creek is being held while the Trozzo Creek, Winlaw Creek, Hird Creek and Airy Creek were all listed as new — with all fires caused by lightning.
Smoke could be seen flowing above the mountains from Nelson Tuesday evening.
The BC Wildfire Service map also lists three new fires near Balfour — Bradley Creek, Redfish Creek and Queens Creek. The Queens Creek is the only human-caused fire.
The Crusader Creek fire near Slocan continues to burn out of control as does the Woodbury Creek fire between Ainsworth and Kaslo.
There are two major fires burning near Beaverdell and Penticton.
The Solomon Mountain Fire four kilometers north of Beaverdell is currently estimated at 17.5 hectares.
The fire, caused by lightning, has forced an evacuation alert by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary for residents of Beaverdell.
Crews are on-site with aerial and heavy equipment support as well as assistance by the local fire department.
The Christie Mountain wildfire, located six kilometers north of Okanagan Falls on the east side of Skaha Lake, ballooned to 1,000 hectares and caused the District of Okanagan-Similkameen to issue evacuatinos alerts and orders for local residents.
This fire is burning in difficult rocky sloped terrain with limited access points for ground crews.
The cause of the Christie Mountain wildfire is under investigation.
Increased activity in the Southeast Fire Centre
In a media release Tuesday, the BC Wildfire Service continues to assess and respond to a number of new fires in the Southeast Fire Centre after lightning from Monday storms started most of the 52 new fires in the last 24 hours.
The BC Wildfire Service said two new fires of interest are the Kootenay River wildfire (N11283) and the Doctor Creek wildfire (N21257).
The Kootenay River wildfire (N11283) is located near the community of Wasa, 30 kilometres north of Cranbrook. Crews are responding with support from Air Tankers. The fire is highly visible from Wasa, Highway 93/95 and surrounding areas.
Currently, it is estimated at 1.5 hectares in size. No values are currently threatened.
The Doctor Creek wildfire (N21257) is located approximately 25 kilometres southwest of Canal Flats. Smoke from this fire is highly visible from Canal Flats, Highway 93/95 and surrounding areas. Currently, it is estimated at 150 hectares in size.
BC Wildfire Service will continue to monitor the fire. No values are currently threatened. The fire is suspected to be lightning caused.
Following the increased fire activity throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, ground crews and aerial resources continue to assess reports and will continue to strategically action fires.
Near Nelson, the BC Wildfire Service said the Woodbury Creek wildfire (N71114), on the eastern edge of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, south-west of Kaslo was producing a large column of smoke Monday afternoon which is highly visible from Kaslo, Nelson and surrounding areas.
As this is an evolving and dynamic situation, the BC Wildfire Service will continue to update the information over the next few days as detection continues.
No values are currently at risk.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
This BC Wildfire aerial photo shows the Solomon Mountain Fire four kilometers north of Beaverdell. — BC Wildfire Twitter
Twitter photos shows the Christie Mountain wildfire, located six kilometers north of Okanagan Falls on the east side of Skaha Lake, burning into the night. — BC Wildfire Twitter