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Lightning strikes likely cause of two wildfires on lower Sunshine Coast

BC Wildfire crews are assessing the size of the fires near Salmon Inlet
Two wildfires were reported near Salmon Inlet on the morning of August 29.

After 2,602 lightning strikes were recorded over Vancouver Island and the mid-Coast between 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 28 and 6 a.m. on Aug. 29, the Coastal Fire Centre has been kept busy. 

Lightning is the suspected cause for two wildfires discovered on the lower Sunshine Coast on Tuesday morning, according to the BC Wildfire Service. One fire, V53027, was reported in mountainous terrain near Clowhom Lake and Salmon Inlet just after 8:45 a.m. 

The second fire, V53028, was reported near Salmon Inlet at 9:26 a.m. An initial attack crew, a type B crew, and a BC Wildfire Service member have been dispatched to that fire.

Coastal Fire Centre information officers told Coast Reporter the visibility has been too low for wildfire crews to get an accurate aerial assessment of the size of either fire. A crew will circle back to assess their options for responding to the fire near Clowhom Lake.

As of 3 p.m. both fires were “out of control”, BC Wildfire’s categorization for fire that “is continuing to spread and is not responding to suppression efforts.” 

Information office Kimberley Kelly that drought conditions have persisted since last fall. 

“The little bit of rain that we're seeing is not enough for precipitation to really change the ignition values of those fuels. So [the area] is still very susceptible to ignition. We're just urging the public to be extremely cautious when they're recreating anywhere in the front or back country,” Kelly said. She noted that the open fire ban is still in place.