A grass fire that started near a Peachland home may have been caused by a fiery object that fell from the sky.
On Tuesday evening (March 16), emergency responders rushed to the fire located on the hillside between Ponderosa Drive and Highway 97.
Peachland Fire Chief Dennis Craig confirmed that crews had difficulty finding the fire as it was located on very steep terrain behind some homes. No winds and cool temperatures assisted the crews in their efforts. It reached a size of about 15 feet by 20 feet by the time crews knocked it down.
The cause of the fire, which damaged the deck of a home, is unknown. However, there are several theories.
A resident on scene shared a video with fire crews, showing a fiery object falling from the sky.
“There was an object, some sort of a flame up in the sky that does appear to have dropped on the ground in that area,” said Craig.
The fire department believes the supposed object may have been a sky lantern. They are convinced it was not fireworks or a marine flare, as those look different from what the resident’s video showed.
However, any evidence of the supposed object is now gone, he explained, due to the amount of water crews used to put out the blaze.
“There was definitely something that floated down from a fairly high elevation, into that area, or drifted into that area,” said Craig.
“I’m not a scientist or a geologist, so I’m not going to argue the meteorite theory, but the last time I checked, rocks don’t typically support combustion. And for it to have that much heat, it would have to come in at a fairly fast speed, and in my opinion, would create a fairly big impact.”
Craig said there is no impact, and they received no reports of a loud bang in that area at that time.
“We’re definitely leaning towards a sky lantern, but officially the cause will go down as undetermined, just because there is no evidence of what we can actually say caused the fire.”
The fire has been deemed not suspicious; crews do not believe it was intentional.
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