The splintered remains of a tree just after the 200 yard line at the golf club driving range. The tree got mangled after lightning struck it during the August 12 storm.

Kitimat resident describes ‘kaboom’ that came with thunder strike which destroyed tree

The District of Kitimat has had their open burning ban lifted, ahead of the expected September 15 date set at the outset.

The District of Kitimat has had their open burning ban lifted, ahead of the expected September 15 date set at the outset.

Kitimat Fire Chief Trent Bossence gave the all-clear on August 14, last Wednesday, following the Northwest Fire Centre relaxing their restrictions as well for the Northwest region.

The lifting came even as the Northwest Fire Centre responded to eight fires last Monday, ignited by lightning storms which passed through the region.

While Kitimat was spared any wildfires, it certainly came close. A tree at the Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club was torn to shreds by a strike of lightning on Monday.

Tina Readman was quick to post photos of the tree to her Facebook feed on the Monday.

She told the Sentinel that her family were having a late dinner at the golf course when the storm him.

“At first it sounded like regular thunder, rumbling,” she explained. “As it got closer it also got very loud, then all of a sudden there was a kaboom, and a crack.”

The strike shook the entire building, she said.

“We wondered if the windows were going to break.”

When they went outside afterwards, they found the still smoking tree.

Meanwhile the largest wildfire started by lightning last week was just under hectare in size, on Toboggan Creek, northwest of the Silvern Estates area.

A crew of 10 firefighters were called into suppress the fire, supported by air tankers.

Other fires were reported along highway corridors, one north of Moricetown, two near Kitwanga, and two north of Kitwanga on Highway 37N.

The latest news on fire bans in the region are posted online to bcwildfire.ca.