Lightning caused two fires close to Williams Lake Monday evening. Guillermo Angel photo

Lightning sparks new fires in Cariboo Fire Centre Monday night

Two fires strike too close for comfort in Williams Lake area

A brief lightning storm had first responders scrabbling Monday night.

Lightning caused six new fires in the Cariboo Fire Centre, including two very close to home for Williams Lake residents.

The 150 Mile Volunteer Fire Department and BC Wildfire Service responded to a lightning-caused fire at Mission Road and Felker Roads east of Russet Bluff with two apparatus and 10 members at about 10 p.m. Monday evening, with more volunteers staged at the firehall.

Members of the Williams Lake Fire Department and BC Wildfire Service also responded to a lightning-caused fire along Highway 20, near the Bond Lake Road turn off.

Deputy Fire Chief Rob Warnock said that fire was 100 feet by 80 feet or more when they arrived on scene.

Related: Emergency crews respond to lightning-caused fires around Williams Lake Monday night

It is believed both those fires are under control.

The BC Wildfire Service has listed those two fires as new fires on its active fire map, as well as four others which were lightning-caused on Monday. They are: .2 of a hectare north of the Itchas, nine hectares one kilometre north of Buxton Creek, .5 of a hectare in the mountains north of Quesnel Lake and 5.5 hectares east of Mitchell Lake.

Williams Lake RCMP also assisted fire crews in the area Monday evening during the response to the lightning strikes.

Staff Sgt. Del Byron said at 2 a.m. several fires were started in the Walters Lake Road area near Horsefly. As of Tuesday morning, that number is down to three fires in the area with wildfire suppression on scene. Byron said there is no risk to structures at this time and no further information on BC Wildfire Service.

The fire danger rating for Tuesday, July 31 is considered to be high and extreme for much the Cariboo Fire Centre area.

Knife, Middle Lake, Nazko, Place Lake Puntzi Mountain, Tatla Lake Hub, and Windy Mountain have a current fire danger rating of extreme.

The region also continues to be under a heat warning and special air quality statement issued by Environment Canada.

Temperatures are expected to reach 30C again Tuesday before things cool down Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 31 is the first day of a campfire ban for the region.

Related: Campfire ban issued for Cariboo Fire Centre

The forecast for Tuesday calls for sun early this morning then a mix of sun and cloud with 60 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms late this afternoon. Local smoke. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h late this afternoon except gusting to 70 near thunderstorms. High 29. Humidex 30. UV index 8 or very high.

Wildfire smoke also continues to impact much the province.

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