Lightning struck Copper Island in Shuswap Lake Aug. 16. The fire is believed to be out, but BC Wildfire will monitor it Aug. 17. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District photo)

Lightning struck Copper Island in Shuswap Lake Aug. 16. The fire is believed to be out, but BC Wildfire will monitor it Aug. 17. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District photo)

Lightning sparked fire on Copper Island in Shuswap Lake doused

BC Wildfire will monitor island where tree was hit Aug. 16

Lightning struck Copper Island in Shuswap Lake on Monday, Aug. 16, but the ensuing fire appeared to be out the next morning.

According to the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), a private helicopter was used to bucket water onto the fire Monday evening. Rainfall may have helped slow the spread.

Fire information officer Noelle Kekula said Tuesday morning the site would be monitored but no further action was being taken.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District reported that the Scotch Creek and Celista fire departments were called out twice during the evening of Aug. 16 to investigate reports of smoke in the area, but no other fires were found.

Copper Island is part of Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, about 60 kilometres northwest of Salmon Arm. The island is between Reedman Point in Blind Bay to the east, and Shuswap Lake Park to the west.

Residents in the area reported hearing lightning strike.

Teri Meikel with nearby Finz Resort said reports were that a tree surrounded by rocks went up in flames. She said whoever witnessed the fire called it in. The local fire department asked all boats to stay out of the area so the aircraft could work.

She took a look at the island Tuesday morning and no smoke was visible.

“It definitely looks to be out,” she said.

Asked if people were nervous, she noted that everybody is nervous right now.

“That was too close to home. It’s the only island on Shuswap Lake; if it was to lose all its beauty, that would be a shame.”

Regarding wildlife, she said some will swim across to the island. She once heard a report of a bear that had swum across.

The island includes a 2.8-kilometre perimeter trail which can be reached by kayak. It is thought to have been given its English name from the colour of the large rock face that can be seen from Blind Bay.

Read more: Rainfall won’t have lasting effect on White Rock Lake wildfire: BC Wildfire

Read more: Approximately 70 Westside Road properties significantly damaged due to White Rock Lake wildfire


martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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