More than 20,000 lightning strikes province-wide on July 1

Wildfire Management Branch aircraft based at the Cariboo Fire Centre patrolled the region during the Canada Day long weekend

Wildfire Management Branch (WMB) aircraft based at the Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC) in Williams Lake patrolled the region during the Canada Day long weekend, looking for possible lightning-strike holdovers (smouldering underground) and other signs of smoke.

Two wildfires were spotted on July 1 by these patrols – both in the Chilcotin. Both of these wildfires were person-caused and are currently under investigation.

So far this season, the Chilcotin has seen 26 person-caused fires and one lightning-caused fire.

There were also two lightning-caused wildfires on July 1, both reported by the public.

WMB aircraft patrolled for holdovers on July 2, concentrating on the CFC’s northeast region (Horsefly/Likely/Quesnel Lake/Cariboo Lake/Bowron Lake areas), where there were hundreds, if not thousands, of lightning strikes over the long weekend.

Throughout the province on July 1, there were approximately 20,000 lightning strikes.

There have been a total of 52 wildfires in the CFC so far this season, 43 person-caused and nine lightning-caused, burning 1,063 hectares.

The CFC reminds the public there is an open burning prohibition in place, banning any waste, slash or grass fires, which came into effect on April 15. The CFC would also like to remind the public to be vigilant with any type of fire use, including campfires.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell phone.

For more information on open fire restrictions or for updates on current wildfire activity, visit www.bcwildfire.ca.