Blaze destroys recycling facility at Greater Vernon landfill
A mass of flames lit up the night sky overlooking Kalamalka Lake Friday.
Fire destroyed the Bluewater Project recycling facility at the Greater Vernon landfill, with the first calls coming in to firefighters at about 9:30 p.m. The fire could be seen as far away as Aberdeen Road in Coldstream.
"It feels sickening," said Kim Dianocky, who manages Bluewater, which has the contract to sort all recyclable material in the North Okanagan.
Significant amounts of recycling fuelled the fire and there were concerns about propane tanks on site.
A lack of fire hydrants meant that water had to be hauled in by crews from the Vernon, Coldstream and BX-Swan Lake fire departments.
Access to the site became challenging as the road to the landfill is narrow. Those watching the action could only speculate to the full extent of the emergency.
"The concern is if it spreads to the scale house. It's hard to tell," said Dale Danallanko, operations manager with the Regional District of North Okanagan.
"There's a stock of piled material just to the north of where the fire is burning."
At this point, RDNO has not determined how recycling will be processed now that the facility is destroyed.
"We have some options. It may mean shipping to Kelowna," said Danallanko.
The cause of the fire is not known at this time.