Storm deemed responsible
for small fire on west bench

A helicopter dumps a bucket of water on a small fire this morning on the west bench above Hwy. 3 just outside Osoyoos.

A morning storm passing this morning through the South Okanagan was both blessing and curse for Osoyoos — delivering a little rain but also igniting a small fire on the community’s west bench.

The storm, which passed through the community between 8 and 8:30 a.m., registered two lightning strikes just west of Osoyoos. Almost immediately, smoke was visible in a steep area just above Strawberry Creek.

“My understanding is that from the lightning this morning — and we’re still trying to get more information on this — there were some new starts,” said Noelle Kekula, a fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service.

“We actioned it out of the Penticton zone,” she said of the Osoyoos fire. “They made contact with us to see if we could help them and we were all pulling resources together to try to action any new starts.”

She didn’t know how many helicopters were involved in subduing the fire, but it appeared to be all but out by mid-morning.

According to the online resource, a series of thunderstorms passing through the Okanagan resulted in multiple lightning strikes between West Kelowna and Penticton. The storm then moved east into the Boundary region.

Residents in that area were reporting lightning and rain.

To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone. The BC Wildfire Service says information from the public is crucial to ensuring wildfires are responded to as soon as possible.


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