A wildfire is seen from a Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau views areas affected by wildfire near Williams Lake, B.C., on Monday. British Columbia is experiencing its most destructive wildfire season in 60 years. Kevin Skrepnek of the BC Wildfire Service says 4,910 square kilometres of forest, brush and grassland have been torched, making this year the second worst in recorded history in terms of land lost. Photo by The Canadian Press

A wildfire is seen from a Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau views areas affected by wildfire near Williams Lake, B.C., on Monday. British Columbia is experiencing its most destructive wildfire season in 60 years. Kevin Skrepnek of the BC Wildfire Service says 4,910 square kilometres of forest, brush and grassland have been torched, making this year the second worst in recorded history in terms of land lost. Photo by The Canadian Press

Lightning sparks 14 new fires in B.C.

The wildfires in B.C. continue after lightning strikes over the weekend

Lightning sparked 14 new wildfires throughout the Southeast Fire Centre on Saturday.

A 70-hectare fire burning about 15 kilometres northeast of Nelson prompted the Regional District of Central Kootenay to issue an evacuation alert between Sitkum Creek and Crescent Bay, as a precautionary measure.

BC Wildfire Service personnel are on site and being supported by air tankers due to the fire burning on steep and difficult terrain.

Most of the new weekend fires are in high alpine areas and not immediately threatening any communities or structures.

Another fire of note, the 100-hectare McCormick Creek wildfire burning approximately 20 km southwest of Salmo, prompted an evacuation alert for 21 residents (near Nelway) and an evacuation order for two properties on Saturday. That incident had 37 personnel, four helicopters and six pieces of heavy equipment working on it. Ground crews were also being supported by air tankers as visibility allowed.

Firefighting efforts on the Harrop Creek wildfire received an international boost last week with the arrival of an 11-person incident management team from Australia.

As of Monday, the Harrop Creek fire, which is 10 km south of Harrop and Procter, had covered over 2,100 hectares and was being supported by four helicopters and heavy equipment.

The latest report on the Galena Bay fire noted it was burning on steep and difficult terrain and five kilometres east of the bay area. On Aug. 11, 34 firefighting personnel, two helicopters and one piece of heavy equipment were working to establish a fire guard on the west flank of the fire. The fire is highly visible from the Galena Bay area and Highway 23, and prompted an evacuation alert in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District last week.

Current statistics from the BC Wildfire Service show 1,012 fires have been reported this season – 267 in the Southeast Fire Centre – and consumed nearly 688,000 hectares.

Fighting wildfires has cost the province about $286 million to date.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1.800.663.5555 toll free.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.

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