Fire situation heats up in the North Thompson

A few warm days in early August, followed by a series of thunderstorms, resulted in a number of fire starts

A helicopter checks out a puff of smoke from a spot-fire on the north side of Azure Lake on Monday

A helicopter checks out a puff of smoke from a spot-fire on the north side of Azure Lake on Monday

June and July were cool and wet in the North Thompson Valley. However, a few warm days in early August, followed by a series of thunderstorms, resulted in a number of fire starts last week.

“We’re seeing a little bit of activity but nothing really intense,” said Vaughn McCaig, forest protection technician with the Clearwater Fire Zone.

Monday evening lightning ignited at least six fires along the ridge between Vavenby and Raft River.

Tuesday the fire zone assigned five Initial Attack crews plus one helicopter to the fires. An air tanker also attacked the fires, holding them until the IA crews could get at them.

All the activity resulted in a number of calls from the general public as well as from TNRD Area A director Tim Pennell, said McCaig.

Wednesday the same five IA crews were out, helped by two helicopters plus one water tank truck.

Dry lighting moved through the south end of Wells Gray Park on Tuesday night.

An air patrol was sent out to scout for new fires plus take a second look at the fires from Monday night’s storm.

McCaig noted that cooler but unsettled weather was forecast for Thursday, the start of a predicted 10-day trend.

With the approach of fall, daytime temperatures are slightly cooler, and humidity at night is higher.