Within minutes of the first thunder clap Monday afternoon, reports of lightning sparked fires rolled in.
Plumes of smoke rose from a forested area off of McCulloch and Field roads—near the Myra Canyon area— prompting Kelowna Fire Department to race to the scene.
Roads only took them so far, however, and the Ministry of Forests was called to assist. WIthin an hour their air tankers flew out of Penticton, and blanketed the blaze.
Although first signs of the storm started shortly after 3 p.m., it was expected to increase in severity through the evening, and Ministry of Forests crews were prepared for the worst.
“We’re seeing this storm starting to track in, and we’re concerned given how hot it was,” said Kevin Skrepnek, fire information officer with the ministry.
The forest floor may have dried from a week of 30-plus C temperatures, and sparks were far from welcomed.
“We’re also expecting 100 km an hour erratic winds surrounding the storm, so we’re monitoring closely and crews are on standby if anything should occur,” said Skrepnek.
The drastic change in weather came out of Arizona and was expected to pass by today.
If you get a report of a fire, or some pictures of the storm send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll run them online this week.