A camera out at Red Mountain Resort caught the fireball on video. (Courtesy of Allan LePage)

West Kootenay residents hunt for meteor

Residents in the West Kootenay have been hunting meteor fragments after a fireball was reported.

Residents in the West Kootenay have been hunting meteor fragments after a fireball was reported to have fallen in the area on Sept. 4.

The fireball was spotted by people not only in B.C., but in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Washington, Idaho and Montana, with the American Meteor Society (AMS) receiving over 300 reports about the event. The AMS estimates that “the fireball travelled in a southeast to northwest direction entering the atmosphere near the small town of Boswell and terminating near Meadow Creek,” leading some local residents to go out looking for fragments.

But according to one local meteor hunter, the terrain makes it tough to search.

“It’s so thick with trees up there that you’re really just on a random goose chase kind of heading up hill,” said Tanya Marie Finley, a Nelson resident.

Finley went out looking for meteorite fragments with her two boys — Michael, age five, and Ben, age three and a half — last Thursday. She says she’d like to go again, but would like to go by helicopter so she can get an aerial view.

Before they headed out, Finley and her children did some research so they’d know what to look for: black golf-ball-sized chunks.

They didn’t find any, though they did find other strange rocks and various animals.

For anyone else headed out searching, Finley recommends taking a map.

“Because you do get kind of turned around in the bush,” she said. “And definitely wear proper shoes. One of the kids was just in sandals and I would completely recommend wearing hiking boots. But it really is just a lottery; if you get lucky, you get lucky.”