It didn’t pose much danger, but it sure put on a show.
The BC Wildfire Service says a fire on Elephant Mountain opposite Nelson topped out at 0.04 hectares before it was declared out.
A lightning strike Friday evening sparked the fire, whose flames were visible from Nelson.
Information officer Donna MacPherson says crews responded that evening and worked until about 10 p.m. assessing the blaze to ensure it didn’t pose a risk to the community and working out a plan for the following day.
They returned on Saturday morning with two helicopters and had it under control by 10 a.m. and declared out by 5 p.m.
“They did their work very quickly on that fire,” MacPherson says.
“It’s a really good example of the work our crews are doing right now. They’re prioritizing the response based on the risk to communities and other values while trying to balance out the safety concerns of fighting fire in steep areas.”
Overall in the Southeast Fire Centre, there are 85 active fires, a number that has remained steady despite new fires breaking out every week. So for this year there have been 346 fires in the region, of which 300 were the result of lightning.
MacPherson says most of the fires have been at mid-to-high elevation and minimal impacts on communities. The forecast is calling for daytime temperatures about five degrees above normal this week. Variable cloud is expected Wednesday with lightning in the evening.
MacPherson says the long-term trend is for that to continue, so there is no end to the fire season in sight, but crews are benefitting from longer nights and cooler night temperatures which limits fire activity.
All open fire bans still in effect along with the area restriction on the Briggs Creek wildfire west of Kaslo.