Lumberyard fire northwest of Vernon still burning, now 4 hectares

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Fire crews are battling a blaze north of Vernon at Mardan Enterprises on Highway 97 past Grandview Flats Road in Spallumcheen. (Clayton Carrier photo)
Thick, dark smoke and flames erupt from Mardan Lumber off Highway 97 between Vernon and Falkland Thursday morning around 10 a.m. (Karryann Maki photo)

UPDATE: 5:21 p.m.

The Spallumcheen lumberyard fire is still burning, but Highway 97 is now open to single-lane alternating traffic 17 km north of Vernon, DriveBC reports.

BC Wildfire Service has clarified an earlier statement from the township. The fire near Round Lake Road is classified at this point as out of control, though it is 70 per cent contained with hose, thanks to the efforts of 25 BCWS firefighters and crews from various local volunteer fire departments. The fire is approximately four hectares in size.

UPDATE: 3:28 p.m.

The fire near Round Lake Road has been reported as contained, the Township of Spallumcheen said in an update Thursday.

The township is continuing with its Level #1 Emergency Operations Centre and gave thanks to Emergency Management BC, the Forest Ministry, the Okanagan Indian Band, Armstrong and BX Swan Lake fire departments who continue to manage the site.

Detours are still in place and the public is reminded to not approach the area.

“No one should be approaching the area for any reason,” the township said.

ORIGINAL:

Highway 97 is closed to traffic between Vernon and Falkland due to a fire.

Thick, black smoke can be seen from the blaze, at Mardan Lumber Sales between Grandview Flats and Tonasket roads. Multiple explosions can also be heard from the volatile blaze.

The highway is still closed as of 2:15 p.m., according to DriveBC. Motorists are being turned around as crews battle the fire and a detour is in place.

The Township of Spallumcheen has activated an emergency operations centre due to the wildfire near Round Lake Road.

“Any progression of this incident will be related to winds causing concern to local area residents,” the township said in it’s activation notice.

Multiple fire departments are on scene, including Okanagan Indian Band, BX-Swan Lake, Armstrong-Spallumcheen and Coldstream. BC Wildfire Service is also actioning the fire from above with retardant being dropped by planes. A helicopter is also actioning the blaze. There are no fire hydrants in the rural area.

The fire remains out of control and is an estimated .6 hectares in size.

“Strong, gusty winds continue to fan the flames,” the Okanagan Indian Band said.

There are several farms on the ridge above the fire. Motorists can take Salmon River Road to avoid the area.

Aim Roads is conducting traffic control while the highway is closed. DriveBC’s next update will come at 3 p.m.

This is the second fire at the mill in recent years. A blaze was sparked at Mardan in May 2016.

READ MORE: Garage fully engulfed in flames near Predator Ridge south of Vernon

READ MORE: Witnesses sought after woman hit by pickup truck in Vernon


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fireTransportation

Just Posted

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos’ Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
UPDATE: Lake Country home destroyed in massive blaze

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read