Fire briefly closes Highway 97

Fire close to highway

A portion of Highway 97 through Kelowna was closed Monday night so fire-fighting crews could deal with a blaze that was perilously close to condo buildings.

The fire, which happened on the roadside between Burtch and Gordon Drive, broke out just after 11 p.m. and, according to witness Mike Beck, it appeared perilously closed to a nearby condo building. The building was evacuated, but residents were able to return in short order as firefighters worked swiftly.

“We did a Code 3 emergency response,” said Larry Hollier, deputy fire chief for the Kelowna Fire Department.

The fire seemed quite dramatic to those who saw it, but Hollier said it’s in large part due to the fact that cedar trees light up so quickly.

Overall, he said, “it was a pretty routine call.”

The fire was out before midnight and crews were in mop-up mode for awhile after.

Charred remnants of the blaze mark the side of the highway this morning and an investigation is underway to see what happened.

Fire caused a portion of Highway 97, near Burtch and Gordon, to be shut down last night. Be careful with your flame starters.

Posted by Kelowna Capital News on Tuesday, 18 July 2017