Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for parts of B.C. Interior

At least one new wildfire, likely caused by lightning, has been found in northeastern B.C., according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. (Peter Kurjata - image credit)
At least one new wildfire, likely caused by lightning, has been found in northeastern B.C., according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. (Peter Kurjata - image credit)

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for several parts of B.C.'s Interior, and a warning for the northeast corner of the province.

The weather agency says conditions are "favourable" for heavy rain for areas including the Kootenays, Thompson, North Okanagan, Shuswap and Elk Valley on Monday afternoon.

In the northeast, a thunderstorm warning — which means large hail, damaging winds or heavy rain are "imminent" — is in effect for Fort Nelson, where rain is forecast through into Tuesday, according to Environment Canada.

Rain is forecast for Monday afternoon in both Kamloops and Kelowna, but Environment Canada expects it to ease off later this evening.

Environment Canada is also warning drivers that heavy downpours can cause water pooling on roads.

Flooding near Kamloops

Officials say at least 20 homes in the Savona area, about 40 kilometres west of Kamloops, were affected by flash flooding on Sunday evening.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District activated its emergency operations centre Monday after heavy rain that prompted the closure of Highway 1 through the community.

The highway has since reopened but drivers are being warned to reduce their speed through the area and watch for working road crews.

Amanda Ellison, a spokesperson for the regional district, says some homeowners have called in to report that their homes have been damaged, and in other cases "eyes on the ground" have seen homes that may have been affected.

A statement from Interior Health says some Savona-area residents were reporting sewage smells around their homes following the flooding.


The province has been experiencing a months-long drought, which, combined with lightning, means wildfires are more likely to spark.

As of 2 p.m. PT on Monday, three new wildfires have been discovered in B.C., all within the Prince George Fire Centre, which spans the province's northeast quarter. The B.C. Wildfire Service suspects at least one of them, discovered on Sunday, was started by lightning.