Skip to content

BCWS says province hit by lightning over 17,800 times in four days

Sweet lightning!
A lightning strike in the Okanagan during one of last week's storms.

More than 17,830 lightning strikes hit the province as thunderstorms swept through B.C. between Aug. 10 and Aug. 13, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

In a social media post on Saturday night, BCWS said during those four days, 140 new wildfires were sparked by lightning.

“The BC Wildfire Service was well prepared for this weather event, with strategically positioned resources focused on initial response,” BCWS said.

“As a result, more than half of these wildfires are now classified as out, being held or under control.”

BCWS said storms are not unusual for August — being B.C.’s second most active lightning month after July — but four successive days with this type of weather is “noteworthy.”

In the Kamloops Fire Centre, BCWS said on Saturday there were 2,665 lightning strikes recorded on Friday, 2,665 on Thursday and 2,617 on Wednesday.

BCWS is encouraging anyone who thinks they spot a new wildfire to report it through the BCWS app.

Taylor Colman, fire information officer, said a feature allows users to attach photos of the suspected fire.

“When you submit that report with the photos attached, we forward it to those who respond so they actually have a better understanding of what you’re seeing," Colman said.

"They’re able to better respond based on the terrain and the fire behaviour and sending the appropriate resources because we have a better idea of what’s going on on the ground.”

According to BCWS, as of Sunday morning there were 165 active wildfires in the province, 44 of which were in the Kamloops Fire Centre.