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Recent thunderstorm registers more than 2,000 lightning strikes — Southeast Fire Centre

The aerial view of the Slocan Bluffs lightning caused wildfire that was reported to have started on Saturday, August 13. The wildfire, currently listed at 9.75 hectares, is in the "being-held" stage. — BC Wildfire Service photo

The Southeast Fire Centre said on social media that there were more than 2,000 lightning strikes were recorded in the region during the thunderstorms that passed over the area on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

Due to the storm, BC Wildfire ground crews and aviation resources responded to 76 new fires, which 59 remain active.

The Southeast Fire Centre said of the active fires, 19 are Under Control, nine are being held and 31 are currently listed as Out of Control.

“Most of these fires are lightning-caused, high elevation targets and we are seeing good initial attack success,” the Facebook post said.

“Aviation resources including helicopters, airtankers, birddogs, and skimmers have been working to keep fire behaviour low while ground crews are deployed in a priority sequence.”

The Southeast Fire Centre said since the thunderstorms passed, the Southeast has experienced a return to hot and dry conditions with temperatures listed in the mid to high 30's.

“As the fuels continue to dry and relative humidity has dropped, we are beginning to see increased fire behaviour on new and existing wildfires,” the Southeast Fire Centre said.

“With these hot and dry conditions forecast to continue, holdover fires from the lightning are expected to be discovered over the next week.”

The Southeast Fire Centre said holdover fires are often lightning-caused fires that lie dormant and undetected for a considerable time after they start.

Aviation resources are making frequent patrols for these undetected fires.

Tuesday, the BC Wildfire Services added another Area Restriction Order for the vicinity of the 375 hectare Mount Docking fire located approximately 27 kilometers east of the village of Radium Hot Springs and seven km east of Kootenay National Park.

This area restriction reflects the need to protect the public in areas where fire suppression activities are taking place.

This restriction is currently in effect and will remain in effect until 12 noon (PDT) on October 15, 2022, or until rescinded.

There are currently four Wildfires of Note in the Southeast Fire Centre.

The lone major blaze in the West Kootenay is the Briggs Creek fire located 11.5 km west of village of Kaslo. The fire is estimated at 1,730 hectares as of Tuesday.

The other three fires are located in the East Kootenay — Connell Ridge, approximately 23 km south of Cranbrook; Cummings Creek, approximately five km west of the town of Sparwood and Weasel Creek, located approximately two km west of Frozen Lake and 39 km southeast of Baynes Lake near the Canada/USA border.

The BC Wildfire Service said the Briggs Creek fire located 11.5 km west of village of Kaslo is now estimated at 1,730 hectares as of Tuesday. — BC Wildfire Service photo