09/03/2013 02:53 EDT | Updated 11/03/2013 05:12 EST

Valhalla park fires left to burn, wildfire branch says

Three fires burning in Valhalla Provincial Park in the West Kootenays will be allowed to keep burning, the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch says.

The fires, which were all started by lightning strikes last week, are on the west side of Slocan Lake, away from the villages of New Denver, Silverton and Slocan, which are on the east side of the lake.

Two of the burning areas — one eight hectares in size and the other just over two hectares — are in an area called Wee Sandy Creek. Another fire burning just to the north is around four hectares in size.

Fire information Karlie Shaughnessy, based in Castlegar, says people living in the Slocan Valley may continue to see and smell smoke from the fires.

Because the fires are in a provincial park, the forest service will monitor them, but not try to put them out. The park management plan allows for wildfires to burn, she said.

"All of these fires are natural occurring lightning fires, and they are burning in remote areas and they are not threatening any communities," she said. "We are going to closely monitor these fires, and they will continue to burn until we see some precipitation."