Fire sweeps up hills near The Rise

Firefighters were left scrambling to contain a fast-moving blaze in Vernon’s Bella Vista area Tuesday.



Firefighters were left scrambling to contain a fast-moving blaze in Vernon’s Bella Vista area Tuesday.

The first call came in just before 3 p.m. of a grass fire on the first switchback leading to The Rise.

“The winds keeps gusting up and sending it (fire) in a different direction,” said Keith Green, Vernon fire chief, during an interview from the scene.

“We’ve been chasing this thing. It came close to two houses but we had a bulldozer on scene and we built up a fire guard.”

At about 4:45 p.m., two homes were evacuated.

The fire covered grew to about 20 hectares.

 

 

Crews from both the Vernon and Okanagan Landing fire halls were joined by 21 firefighters, four air tankers and two helicopters from the Ministry of Forests.

“We sent whatever resources we can,” said Kayla Pepper, a ministry information officer.

The BX-Swan Lake Fire Department was also called in to assist.

A cause has not been determined but Pepper says ground conditions are dry.

“The fire danger rating is high,” she said.