Sparks from a grinder or welder is believed to be the cause of a brush fire in the industrial park area of Penticton on Thursday afternoon.
“Firefighters could see heavy smoke coming from that area as soon as they left the hall so they called for more resources at that time. When they got there they found a Class C motorhome that was fully involved and it had started to spread to the wild lands,” said Penticton fire department Deputy Dave Spalding.
Firefighters started their attack right at the motorhome located at 1250 Commercial Way but Spalding said the winds picked up and took the fire up the creek setting fire to some trees and grass. A second fire engine was deployed to stop the fire progression and protect businesses. Spalding said then a third fire engine assessed the south side along Okanagan Avenue to ensure the buildings and businesses along there weren’t at risk.
“It looked like a person working on the motorhome, or in that area, created some sparks. That is what we call hot works whenever you are grinding or welding and the fire was started from that,” said Spalding. “It is pretty dry and that is the hazard of anytime someone is working outside doing hot works. They should have a standby person with an extinguisher that is specifically just watching for sparks. The person that is working has eye protection on and isn’t able to look all around. Having a lookout is standard practice.”