A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)

A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)

Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fire

Many British Columbians were awakened to the presence of lightning Monday. Some were concerned about its ability to fuel new or existing wildfires.

The province saw 327 lightning strikes touch down May 17, from regions of Metro Vancouver to as far north as Prince George.

B.C. Wildfire Service’s digital map of fire risks showed pockets of high to extreme danger in central areas as wildfire season moves into its early stages.

The majority of lightning strikes also occurred in central-eastern regions including the Cariboo, which saw 189 strikes compared to 49 in coastal areas and 45 in and around Kamloops.

An expert from Environment Canada said that’s typical for this time of year.

READ MORE: Wildfire sparks southeast of Vernon

May to July is peak season for lightning

“May to July is actually when thunderstorms are at their peak,” said meteorologist David Lundquist.

“B.C. can see anywhere from up to hundreds to some thousands of lightning strikes per day.”

In places like the valleys of B.C.’s southern interior, such as Kelowna, thunderstorms don’t come with much rain, Lundquist said.

Information officer Briana Hill with B.C. Wildfire Service said the agency is constantly monitoring the presence of lightning, “in case anything strikes up.”

Humans spark most of B.C.’s wildfires in spring

However, until the drier months of summer, Hill said the most common cause of wildfires in B.C. continues to be humans.

“It’s key that people are aware of their fire use,” she said.

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate fire risk, according to B.C. Wildfire Service’s May 17 danger zone ratings.

This week alone, a total of 10 new wildfires have erupted in the province.

RELATED: Harrison Lake fire holds steady at 22 hectares, Chehalis area fire under control



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

B.C. Wildfires 2021bcwildfire

Just Posted

The Kus-kus-sum site had been a sawmill on the Courtenay River. File photo
Restoration of Kus-kus-sum area in Courtenay to begin June 21

Restoration at the Kus-kus-sum site will begin June 21. This will be… Continue reading

The Bayview is temporarily closed to deal with the effects of a sprinkler in one room that was tampered with. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bayview Hotel in Courtenay closed for now due to water mess

Hotel clarifies that only one sprinkler was tampered with and activated

A rendering shows a “mini urban bazaar” for very small businesses hub proposed in Cumberland. File image, Cumberland staff report
Urban bazaar proposal in Cumberland takes next step

Council approved permit applications but have some concerns about parking

Craft Brewing and Malting program student Ellie Hadley plans to use her newfound skills and knowledge to set up a distillery in Port Alberni. (PHOTO COURTESY LEE SIMMONS)
Something’s brewing with North Island College’s newest program

Port Alberni grad Ellie Hadley hopes to turn new skills into thriving business

Nurse and educator Carol Tinga was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. The community has raised more than $89,000 to help reduce financial stress so that Tinga and her family and focus on treatment and enjoy their time together. Photo submitted
Valley stepping up to support nurse who cared for many

A fundraiser has raised more than $89,000 for Carol Tinga who was diagnosed with cancer

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stanley Fischer, right, died while in a Victoria police jail cell hours after he was arrested on Nov. 15, 1981. (Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer)
Victoria police not reopening investigation into man’s 1981 death while in custody

Stanley Fischer’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found in his jail cell

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

Most Read