An air tanker releases fire retardant over a fire near Predator Ridge Golf Resort Saturday just before 5 p.m..

An air tanker releases fire retardant over a fire near Predator Ridge Golf Resort Saturday just before 5 p.m..

Crews battle fire near Predator Ridge

A fire in the Commonage area, south of Vernon, near Predator Ridge, is being responded to by Vernon Fire Rescue and B.C. Wildfire Service.

  • Aug. 27, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Six air tankers and a helicopter are currently battling a “heavily wind-driven” fire north of Predator Ridge Resort, said Kelsey Winter, B.C. Wildfire Service fire prevention officer.

The 4-hectare Kokanee Road fire is also being fought by eight Wildfire Service personnel on the ground assisting Vernon Fire Rescue members. Winter said retardant was now around 50 per cent of the rank 2 and 3 fire mostly burning amongst the ground cover.

The blaze was called in around 3:20 p.m. Saturday.

The City of Vernon has announced that Sunset Properties is on an evacuation alert, affecting approximately 45 residences.

Smoke can be seen from the resort and what started as a grass fire quickly spread into the trees.

Winter said the 50 kilometre-an-hour wind gusts are definitely a concern at this time but having ground crews assisting is “very beneficial” in fighting the blaze.

“We’re keeping in contact with the fire department and they are keeping us informed,” said Torrie Silverthorn, of the Predator Ridge Resort marketing department. “They’re doing an amazing job.”

Winter added there’s been no growth in the size of the fire in the last hour “and that’s a good thing.”