Lightning sparks fires at Violin Lake

Wildfire in the Paulson has spread over 200 hectares in 48 hours

BC Wildfire Services reports 78 new fires burning since Thursday – three of which are spot fires near Violin Lake.

Lightning sparked the trio of fires over the weekend and had one helicopter assigned to bucket an area just west of the lake Sunday afternoon.

Initial attack crews were responding to the locations Monday,  confirmed Melissa Klassen, fire information officer with BC Wildfire Services.

Another local wildfire, in the Paulson Pass area, has been burning since Friday.

Reported to be north of Highway 3 and visible from the roadway, the fire has spread over 200 hectares in 48 hours.

Klassen confirmed the cause was lightning, and noted the wildfire remained zero per cent contained.

Two helicopters were assisting with fire suppression Monday while a 12-man crew worked to establish containment.

“Today there’s a potential for fire activity to increase with higher temperatures,” she added. “And we may see open flame and the odd pocket of trees candling.”

The highway remains open but is being closely monitored this week as the forecast is calling for another warm and dry trend.

“We are really relying on the public to not pull over in that area and keep moving through because it is an area with an active wildfire,” said Klassen. “We have signage up reminding people to exercise extreme caution.”

Northeast of the Paulson Pass, a cluster of three remote lightning-caused spot fires sparked over the weekend and had initial attack crews responding Monday.

Elsewhere in the region, crews responded to a remote 820-hectare fire in the Deer Park area, 35 kilometres northeast of Castlegar, Saturday night.

Further east, 13 km outside of Creston, the Midgley Mountain Fire was listed as active though reported to be 10 per cent contained Monday.

This fire was reported Friday evening and grew quickly due to heavy winds in the area. However, fire activity greatly decreased Saturday, and it has not shown significant growth since.

No structures were under threat by fire at press time.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, visit bcwildfire.ca.

To follow RDKB Emergency Operations, visit twitter.com/AlanLStanley.

So far this summer, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 499 fires, 428 of them, lightning-caused, 71 human-caused.

The initial attack crew is often the first at the scene of a new wildfire.

The firefighters operate as a three-person team and work quickly to set up water pumps, remove fuel from the fire’s path using chainsaws or shovels, and dig fire guards to control or extinguish the blaze.

Crews are self-sufficient, carrying in up to 200 lbs of necessities. They can remain at the site for up to 24 hours without re-supply.

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