Local wildfires spark public reminders

A local fire official blames lightning strikes for two spot fires that burnt in the hills of Garnett Valley Friday afternoon.

  • Jul. 12, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Hosing down. Captain Rick Leardo of the Summerland Fire Department mops up the remains of a wildfire that burnt Friday afternoon a small patch forest in the Garnett Valley area.

A local fire official blames lightning strikes for two spot fires  that burnt in the hills of Garnett Valley Friday afternoon.

Summerland Fire Chief Glenn Noble says lighting likely caused the fires, which sprung up Friday afternoon, following a lighting storm that had passed through the area the day before.

Crews responding to the fire told the Review that the lighting strikes had likely caused small smoldering fires that flared up as the temperature rose Friday.

The Summerland Fire Department as well as B.C. Forest Service responded to the fires, which did not seriously threaten human property or life as one of the fires burnt about two kilometres away from the nearest residence.

But the fires could be seen from Garnett Valley Road, reminding local residents that living in the Okanagan also means living with the threat of wildfires.

While recent days have seen a drop in temperatures, the early days of July saw  officials with the Wildfire Management Branch raise the fire danger rating for the South Okanagan to high. By deadline, it had dropped to moderate. But this change has not fundamentally changed the public message.

While Noble noted  that the firefighters cannot do much to prevent fires started by lightning, the public can mitigate the  general threat of wildfires by being cautious when they travel or recreate in the back-country.

Kayla Pepper, a fire information officer at the Kamloops Fire Centre, echoed this point in noting that the vast majority of fires reported thus far started through human actions.

”So all those fires could have been prevented,” she said. About 2,000 wildfires  occur in British Columbia each year, with humans said to be responsible for about half of them. Numbers, however, fluctuate from year to year. Consider 2009, when some 3,000 wildfires burnt across the province. They damaged almost 250,000 hectares, causing damages worth an estimated $382.1 million.

 

Just Posted

Ranchers help grow PRH

Ranching family’s roots recognized through PRH donation

Oktoberfest kicks off new Beer Week

The 10th annual event ties into the new week-long celebration of craft beers.

Summerland council agrees to 30-year lease with steam railway

Tourist train has been operating as an attraction in Summerland since 1995

Speeding a concern on Summerland streets

Police observe fast motorists in town and on Highway 97

Rain in forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap region

Mixed bag of clouds, sun and showers forecast for the week ahead

Election 2019: Robert Mellalieu — Green Party candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu is running for the Green Party in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

Roads contractor waits for snow removal equipment as winter looms

The newly-hired highway maintenance company serving the region is hitting some bumps… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read