UPDATED: No air attack yet at BX wildfire

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

UPDATE:

4:30 p.m.

BC Wildfire said the fire is still out of control, that there is no air support at this time, and that they have a crew on the ground.

They also noted that a rappel crew is there to assist.

July 17

Vernon can expect to see some action soon on the wildfire burning in the BX.

The blaze, sparked by lightning Tuesday night, has doubled in size to approximately 300 by 600 metres.

“Apparently it is on the priority list, top of the priority list,” said BX Swan Lake Fire Chief Bill Wacey, as the fire is in BC Wildfire Service territory.

“They are expecting an air show whether it be bucket ships or the fixed wing.”

A Rap Attack crew has been requested due to the challenging topography.

“It’s really steep terrain, we couldn’t even get in there last night,” said Wacey.

video courtesy of Jesse Schpakowski

Using a sky genie, a Rap Attack crew will get lowered down to the area if they can’t access it.

“And they’ll go from there, that’s out of Salmon Arm, the only one in the province is out of Salmon Arm,” said Wacey.

Currently the blaze has climbed further up the hillside from its original spark point.

“It’s smoking pretty good, but I don’t see any flames and there’s no wind,” said Wacey.

The nearest home is on Lynx Road, approximately one to two kilometres away.

Meanwhile forestry crews are busy battling numerous fires sparked by lightning across the province and particularly in the Central Okanagan.

“They got hit really hard,” said Wacey.

See: Lightning strikes spark 38 fires in B.C., 13 in the region

………………………………………………………………………..

Two wildfires have been sparked near Vernon.

Firefighters are on scene actioning a blaze in the BX, believed to be in the Tilicum area.

The forest fire is on the east side of Vernon in the Silver Star area.

“We are asking the public to stay clear to ensure crews can safely access the area,” said BX-Swan Lake fire chief Bill Wacey, as his department assists BC Wildfire Service.

There are homes on the hill but not in the near vicinity. They are approximately one to two kilometres away.

The winds are a concern for crews, who are monitoring the blaze.

Another fire was sparked in the East Hill.

“Lightning hit Sandpiper retirement complex bushes and went up in fire,” said neighbour Ryan Smith, who was tucking his kids in bed when he heard the commotion. “VFD (Vernon Fire Department) was quickly on site and put it out.”

The fires were sparked by Tuesday night’s lightning storm.

More details will be posted as they become available.

Related: Lightning strikes across B.C. Interior

Related: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

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A fire was sparked by lightning in East Hill Tuesday evening near Vernon Secondary School but was quickly extinguished by firefighters. (Wade Garrod photo)

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