Widespread lightning activity Wednesday sparked 36 new wildfires across the province.
“In terms of the Cariboo specifically there have about 7 new wildfires so far today, the majority of these caused by lightning activity that we’ve been seeing,” says BC Wildfire Service Information Officer Ryan Turcot.
“The good news so far is that none of these new fires in the Cariboo region have exceeded 2 hectares in size.”
60 firefighters according to Turcot are engaged and are being deployed to the fires.
“We have also completed 3 air-tanker missions today as well so the crews on the ground are being supported in some cases by air support,” he adds.
Turcot says that the BC Wildfire Service will be keeping a very close eye on weather patterns as there could be more unstable conditions over the next couple of days resulting in further lightning activity.
A thunderstorm watch was later upgraded Wednesday afternoon to a warning for the Cariboo including 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, and Quesnel by Environment Canada.
“Radar indicates a very intense thunderstorm just east of Williams Lake airport and it is traveling northwest at about 40 km/h and will cross Highway 97 shortly. Rainfall rates of 30 to 40 mm/hr are possible with this storm along with gusts to 80 km/h,” stated the agency.
“The storm cell is expected to move through the southwestern Cariboo in the next couple of hours.”