Lightning ignited 22 new fires in the Prince George Fire Centre yesterday and more are expected due to the continued risk of lightning.

Additional fire fighting crews from around the province have arrived in the region to help with existing fires and expected lightning-caused fires. Two additional unit crews, comprising a total of 40 firefighters, are available for sustained action on larger fires. Five additional three-person initial attack crews are also standing by to respond to smaller fires and new fire starts.

The Windfall Creek fire, 40 kilometres southwest of Tumbler Ridge, increased in size to 160 hectares yesterday. The fire is burning in very steep terrain, preventing heavy equipment operators from working safely. Currently 40 firefighters are working by hand to control the fire; they are supported by two helicopters bucketing water. Air tankers are also available to support fire suppression efforts today. The fire is not currently growing significantly.

The Culder Lake fire, 80 kilometres southwest of Mackenzie, is now controlled. Crews are working to extinguish hot spots within the fire's perimeter.

The fire danger rating is currently moderate to high throughout most of the Prince George Fire Centre. Due to the continued risk of lightning, the BC Forest Service is reminding the public to use extreme caution when lighting any fires. Human caused fires divert critical resources from naturally occurring fires caused by lightning.