South Okanagan crews battling multiple wildfires from lightning strikes

South Okanagan crews battling multiple wildfires from lightning strikes

Most of the fires are listed as spot-sized, meaning less than 0.01 hectares in size or 10 x 10 meters

It’s been a busy 18 hours for firefighters in the South Okanagan, as they tackle lightning-caused wildfires near Okanagan Falls, Penticton, Keremeos and Summerland.

The fire burning at Ollala Creek, above Keremeos, is now estimated at six hectares according to Kayla Fraser, fire information officer with BC Wildfire Service. The cause of the wildfire is listed as unknown on the BC Wildfire Service website.

“Crews are continuing to work to put in a hand guard, and they are being assisted by one helictopter,” said Fraser. “I believe there are 27 personnel on site.”

Three personnel are responding to the spot-sized fire west of Okanagan Falls at Mount McLellan. A wildfire is classified as spot-sized when it measures less than 0.01 hectares or 10 x 10 metres. Fraser said BC Wildfire does not have an update at this time about the wildfire at Mount Hawthorne, though it is listed as a spot-sized fire online.

READ MORE: Lightning sparks two fires in the Similkameen

Roughly seven kilometres east of Penticton, the Steward Creek wildfire currently has one helicopter responding. BC Wildfire Service lists this wildfire as spot-sized.

“They’re kind of just assessing the situation and resources will be allocated as required,” said Fraser. “That one is suspected to be lightning-caused.”

READ MORE: Storm rampages through Interior with more than 10,000 lightning strikes

Northeast of the Steward Creek wildfire is the Kerr Creek wildfire, which is also suspected to be lightning-caused. Fraser said it is about one hectare in size and air tankers are responding to hold the fire until ground crews can arrive on site.

Finally, three personnel are responding to another spot-sized fire at Darke Creek northwest of Summerland. Again, this fire is suspected to be lightning-caused.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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