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Large grass fire near Kelowna airport likely caused by tossed cigarette

The 100 foot by 200 foot fire was fanned by winds on Sunday morning
Proximity of how close the grass fire was to Kelowna International Airport. (Google View)

A large grass fire near the Kelowna International Airport was likely caused by a tossed cigarette on Sunday morning.

At approximately 11:15 a.m. the Kelowna Fire Department Dispatch Center began receiving multiple 911 calls reporting a grass fire in the area of Dry Valley Road and Highway 97 near the Kelowna airport.

The first arriving officer reported a grass fire along the embankment next to the highway and approximately 400 metres north of Dry Valley Road.

The fire was classed as rank one and was complicated by winds, said Kelowna Fire Department.

The blaze grew to 100 feet by 200 feet before it was brought under control and extinguished.

The cause is undetermined, but most likely from discarded cigarette, said John Kelly, platoon captain of the Kelowna Fire Department.

One of the south bound lanes of the highway was closed while fire crews put out the fire. The fire department didn’t say whether any flights were interrupted by the smoke.

“We would like to remind everyone that as the ground quickly starts to dry out, please dispose of smoking material responsibly and in an appropriate container,” said Kelly in a release.

Kelowna fire responded with three engines, bush truck, water tender, command unit and 14 personnel.

READ MORE: January fire deemed suspicious

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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