Smoke billowing from a mountain after lightning strikes hit several areas in the South Okanagan on the evening of July 17. Photo courtesy of Meghann Fletcher

Update: More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

UPDATE: 11:10 a.m.

The BC Wildfire Service continues to respond to multiple lightning-sparked wildfires throughout the province Wednesday morning.

The province’s latest count indicates a total of 22 new wildfires started in the Kamloops Fire Centre last night with the majority burning in the Okanagan and Similkameen regions.

It states that all available resources are responding today including air tankers, helicopters, ground crews and rappel crews.

“Additional resources were brought in early this morning and last night from around the province to assist around the Okanagan and Similkameen,” states BC Wildfire.

“The Kamloops Fire Centre is expecting more thunderstorms and dry lightning in the north Kamloops, Vernon, Lillooet and North Thompson zones today.”

The BC Wildfire Service continues to respond to new wildfires across the province after Tuesday’s widespread lightning event. Lightning map provided by the BC Wildfire Service.

Lightning is also reportedly responsible for 12 new wildfires since yesterday in the Prince George Fire Centre.

The Dog Creek Trail wildfire, northwest of Vanderhoof, is currently 60 hectares and is visible from communities in the area.

The wildfire is being supported by 22 firefighters, helicopters and air tankers as need.

The West of Cranberry Creek wildfire, west of Valemount, is currently three hectares. Air tankers are also on scene and no structures are threatened at this time.

“We ask the public to refrain from driving to look at these fires as it can impede firefighting efforts,” adds BC Wildfire.

“Please continue to call in new wildfire activity activity via 1-800-663-5555 toll free, or *5555 on a cell phone.”

A large lightning storm moved through the region Tuesday evening. Photo taken from Royal View Drive in Kelowna by Mat O’Flynn.

Related: Vernon residents quick to jump on lightning fire

Related: Four small wildfires reported near Revelstoke following Tuesday night storm

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ORIGINAL:

BC Wildfire Service reported last night that 38 new wildfires have started in B.C., 13 of which are in the Okanagan and Similkameen area.

In the Central Okanagan, lightning started a small fire on the roof a West Kelowna apartment complex. Smoke could also be seen by Peachland residents from a blaze Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park last night.

The Dee Lake wildfire reported near Lake Country remained at seven hectares in size.

The first fire to catch crews attention was near Big White. The Joe Rich Fire Department, alongside Big White and provincial crews battled that blaze near Big White Road.

According to the BC Wildfire Service’s active wildfire map, five fires were started by lightning strikes in the park and in the area north of Naramata.

A fire was also reported east of Silverstar Road in Vernon.

Lightning also started a larger wildfire near Summerland, July 17 that produced some eerie nighttime images.

Near Penticton, fires were reported off of Highway 97 and Lakehill Road, Olalla Creek, Snowy Protected Area, Paul Creek and Placer Mountain.

A wildfire that started on Pike Mountain near Princeton doubled in size from July 16 to July 17.

Crews all made quick work of a small blaze near Salmon Arm Tuesday evening.

More to come.

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Provincial fires crews battle the Trout Creek wildfire near Summerland from the air. Image: Donovan Wagner/Hiilite Web+Marketing

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