View of the Tuesday night lightning storm from Shaver’s Bench. (Guy Bertand photo)

Lightning sparks wildfire near Trail water tower

82 wildfires reported in the Southeast Fire Centre this season; 114 hectares burned

Clacks of thunder late Tuesday in Trail also brought lightning that sparked a small wildfire near the eastside water tower.

Six firefighters responded to an emergency call that came into Trail Station 374 shortly after 11 p.m.

Captain Greg Ferraby described the blaze, located at the Sunningdale water tower ridge, as 100 feet by 100 feet.

“The fire was caused by a lightning strike to a tree,” he reported in a Wednesday media release.

Ferraby lists the fire as under control by 12:30 a.m.

Across the province there’s been 541 wildfires reported, 82 of those in the Southeast Fire Centre. Of the 12,200 total hectares burned in B.C. since the season started April 1, only 114 hectares are in the southeast district.

The fire danger rating is moderate, which means forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting. All forest activities should be carried out with caution.

There are currently no forest use restrictions or a campfire ban in place for the southeast. However, open fires that are larger than two metres high by three metres wide (Category 3) have been prohibited since June.

About the Southeast Fire Centre (which encompasses Trail and the Greater District):

Based at the Castlegar municipal airport, the Southeast Fire Centre, extends from the U.S. border to Mica Dam and from the Okanagan Highlands/west side of the Monashee Mountains to the B.C./Alberta border.

Within this area also lie several provincial parks including Valhalla, Kokanee Glacier, Top of the World and Elk Lakes.

The Southeast Fire Centre varies from a wet climate in the north to a dry Okanagan climate in the southwest, the mountainous terrain can experience high temperatures in summer and very low temperatures in winter.

Vegetation is very diverse across the region and includes many commercial hardwood and softwood species such as larch, pine, spruce, fir, Douglas-fir, cottonwood, aspen, red cedar and birch.

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