West Kelowna Fire Rescue firefighters worked with firefighters from other departments and the BC Wildfire Service to extinguish a small wildfire near Highway 97C. (File Photo)

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

A wildfire near Highway 97C was quickly extinguished but the cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious.

West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund said West Kelowna fire crews responded to the blaze at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 after multiple callers reported seeing it in the vicinity of the Highway 97 and 97 C intersection.

Crews from the Westbank station were first on scene, supported by Glenrosa, Lakeview Heights and Rose Valley firefighters as well as BC Wildfire Service ground crews.

Firefighters were confronted by a fire burning an area 150 by 50 feet in size and being driven uphill by strong winds.

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According to Brolund, no homes were immediately threatened and no evacuations were required, but firefighters did patrol the Glenrosa area to ensure the fire did not spread in that direction.

Crews contained the fire to .15 of a hectare in size by constructing a fire guard and then knocked down the flames still burning within the contained area.

Brolund stated the fire is being treated as suspicious as firefighters remained on the scene overnight seeking to both determine a possible cause and ensure it was fully extinguished.

“The public is thanked for their quick reporting of this fire to 9-1-1. At this time of year, if you see smoke where it should not be, please report it,” Brolund stated.

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@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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