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BC Wildfire declares grass fire near Penticton under control

Penticton Fire fielded 30 calls about the blaze above Sage Mesa homes

The first potential wildfire in Penticton was knocked down quickly and brought under control thanks to the quick action of Penticton Fire and BC Wildfire on Monday.

At 2:20 p.m. the Penticton fire department had already fielded 30 calls about a rapidly growing grass fire near the Pine Hills Golf Course in the Sage Mesa neighbourhood. Residents in the area watched the fire climbing up Mount Nkwala above the KVR Trail.

Penticton Fire arrived to a 100 by 200 foot fire and called for help from BC Wildfire because the steep terrain made it difficult to battle the growing blaze from the ground. Temperatures were already 30 C.

Two bucket helicopters showed up with minutes gathering water from Okanagan Lake and dumping bucket after bucket on the flames.

By 4 p.m. good progress was made on the blaze with B.C. Wildfire declaring it under control by Monday evening.

“The fast intial attack was really successful and great to see,” said BC Wildfire information officer Melanie Bibeau.

They had two attack crews with 10 firefighters on the scene, a fire investigator as well as the two helicopters.

Penticton Fire was also aiding in fire suppression but most of them had to be called away to deal with the fire at the Fairfield Marriott hotel.

The blaze is listed on the BC Wildfire dashboard as .75 hectares in size and person-caused.

“It is suspected human caused but we are still investigating,” said Bibeau. BC Wildfire continued to monitor the Mount Nkwala site on Tuesday. The origin of the fire is still being investigated.

Video: Firefighters make good progress on fire above Sage Mesa homes

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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