Tuesday’s lightning storm sparked wildfire concerns and fire officials are asking the public to keep an eye out for smoke or flames.
Marg Drysdale, Coastal Fire Centre spokeswoman, said no fires were reported in the mid-Island area as of Wednesday morning, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be any – lightning struck the ground in the Nanaimo area and it can sometimes take some time before a fire is reported and confirmed.
Drysdale said some lightning fires can be what officials call holdover fires – subsurface fires that smoulder until the weather warms up and/or conditions are right.
“An analogy would be like popcorn – it would simmer, simmer, simmer, then pop up,” she said. “We may get reports right through the week. We rely heavily on the public to report fires.”
Drysdale said as of Wednesday morning, fire crews confirmed 12 fires throughout the Coastal Fire Centre caused by the lightning, three of which were on the Island, but in the south Island area.
She did not have a count on the number of lightning strikes in the Nanaimo region, but said there were multiple strikes, although not nearly as many as in the Duncan and Sunshine Coast regions.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.