Members of the B.C. Wildfire Service assisted the Keremeos Fire Department in fighting a blaze near River Road on Monday, April 5. (Submitted)

Members of the B.C. Wildfire Service assisted the Keremeos Fire Department in fighting a blaze near River Road on Monday, April 5. (Submitted)

Two fires in two days keep South Okanagan firefighters busy

One fire continued to send up smoke the next day

The Keremeos Fire Department had a busy start to their week.

On Monday, April 5, the department called in B.C. Wildfire for assistance in fighting a fire in the hills near River Road.

“It was a benched hillside and tough to get manpower and equipment to,” said fire chief Jordy Bosscha.

The department was called out to the fire around 3:30 p.m., and spent the next six hours containing and putting out the fire. On Tuesday, members of the department continued to pass by the area on patrol.

During one of those patrols, smoke was seen, which was eventually tracked down to be coming from a root system that would require an excavator to expose and fully extinguish.

READ MORE: Kings Park goal net catches fire in Penticton

The fire mostly spread on shrubs and grasses, but it did get into a nearby orchard where it consumed several older cherry trees and posed a risk of spreading to nearby buildings.

“We managed to pinch it off and knock down the head of the fire, in seconds, otherwise it would have gone above us and we wouldn’t have been able to catch it. Then it would have been heading towards the houses and some construction equipment,” said Bosscha.

Fighting the fire was made more difficult by the conditions, with gusts of wind pushing the fire on.

In addition to the two bush vehicles, two engines and utility vehicle, the 21 members of the Keremeos Fire Department were joined by four members of the B.C Wildfire Service’s Penticton Forest Zone.

On Sunday, April, a fire at Coulthard Avenue off of Highway 3 in Cawston consumed around dozen vehicles and several sheds.

That fire, which was reported to the department at 3:42 a.m., also faced some gusting winds.

“It had come in as a structure fire, and one shed is completely destroyed and the other is still standing,” said Bosscha. “It spread on the grass and got into some older willow trees that we had to cut down since they were burning up high.”

Two engines, a bush truck and a utility truck attended the fire.

READ MORE: Keremeos Fire Department douses fire

The causes of both fires are under investigation.

These kinds of fires aren’t out of the ordinary, and neither is calling for support from B.C. Wildfire at this time of year, according to the fire chief.

“Quite regularly we have forestry out helping us with burns in the area around once or twice a year, let’s say it’s not abnormal,” said Bosscha.

The fire chief advised residents to follow all the rules and regulations when it comes to fires, including burning only on good venting days, ensuring that fires are extinguished and cold to the touch before walking away so that wind doesn’t spread any embers and have fire fighting equipment and tools on hand.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police are seeking the public’s assistance identifying a man who allegedly robbed a Vernon business the evening of Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Police search for man who allegedly robbed Vernon business with weapon

The suspect is said to have threatened an employee before running off with two bottles of liquor

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal is prepared to move that Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Back downtown businesses with legacy fund: Vernon city councillor

Coun. Dalvir Nahal ready to propose the closure of Main Street to bolster economic recover amid pandemic

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce is part of a consortium of North Okanagan-Shuswap chambers that will be hiring advisors to help rural businesses with economic recovery strategies. (Black Press file)
Funding to assist rural North Okanagan-Shuswap businesses with COVID-19 recovery

Chambers of commerce receive grant funding for business recovery advisors

The community boat launch located at 8835 Okanagan Landing Road has been closed due to safety concerns. (City of Vernon - Contributed)
Safety concerns close public Vernon boat launch

City seeking feedback on variety of locations for future improvements

The Vernon Aquatic Centre’s waterslide has reopened after being closed March 26 for repairs. (City of Vernon - photo)
Vernon Aquatic Centre’s waterslide reopens

Popular attraction was shut down March 26 for repairs

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Canada Post has moved up parcel delivery deadlines within Canada in response to unprecedented holiday demand during COVID-19 but is still telling Canadians to expect delays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mail suspended at Kelowna condo after mask-less residents spotted in lobby

Residents were asked to pick up their mail at Canada Post’s office on Baillie Avenue

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

This cougar alert was posted near Chilliwack after a cougar was reported in the area on April 10, 2021. (Black Press - File)
Dog killed by cougar near Penticton

The band issued a warning to keep an eye on children and pets in the area

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to go forward with legal action

BC Wildfire Service file.
So far, fire season in Kamloops region about average

Unseasonably warm temperatures as of late are drying out ground fuel

A woman was struck by a vehicle in the Costco Parking lot just before 12 p.m. on April 28, 2020. (File)
Kelowna council expedites road improvements in anticipation of new Costco

Highway 97 and Leckie Road improvements to cost $1.14 million, costs split between the city, Costco and the province

Most Read