A photographer caught this pic of the thunder and lightning storm that lit up the South Okanagan skies on Tuesday evening. (Photo courtesy of Amber Fradin)

Storm makes for a busy night for some South Okanagan fire departments

Several calls for downed power lines and grass fires in the South Okanagan

It is believed a lightning strike caused a small grassfire in the Naramata area on Tuesday evening.

Deputy fire chief Chris Forster said they were called to a fire at Todd Road and Naramata Road at 10:17 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Considering the storm we were having it is in all likelihood, and we presume, it was a lightning strike,” said Forster.

READ MORE: Lightning and thunder rattles Okanagan Valley

Fire crews used the bush truck to access a property, just past the Campbell Mountain Landfill, and drove about a kilometre in to get to the fire. Forster said the fire was small, about 20 feet by 20 feet in size, and was quickly extinguished.

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the entire valley on Tuesday.

“Surprisingly we were not really busy because of it. I was expecting power lines to be down, power outages and possible other bush fires but it wasn’t too bad for us,” said Forster.

Osoyoos fire chief Dave McMahon said they had a busy night due to the storm, including a call at 5:52 a.m. for a grass fire.

“We received the dispatch and went out but couldn’t find anything. It could be due to the amount of perception that we received that it was a spot fire that died down with the we ground. It is something that could re-surface again later due to the fuel loads we have around here,” said McMahon.

He added that they had several calls for service around 11 p.m. for lightning strikes in Osoyoos and arced power lines.

“It was a pretty spectacular storm that left Fortis hydro just slammed last night. We were lucky with the volume of rain that we did receive,” said McMahon.

According to the emergency fire dispatch for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. there was at least seven calls for downed power lines and grass fires.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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