West Kelowna fire crews snuffed out patches of flame that ignited on the side of Highway 97 near the west side of William R. Bennett Bridge Saturday, March 20, 2021. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

West Kelowna fire crews snuffed out patches of flame that ignited on the side of Highway 97 near the west side of William R. Bennett Bridge Saturday, March 20, 2021. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

UPDATE: Three grass fires in one day keep Central Okanagan fire crews busy

Two grass fires in West Kelowna, and one in Kelowna on Saturday, March 20

West Kelowna firefighters snuffed out a grass fire near Highway 97 Saturday, before being called to another fire at the other end of the city.

Flames originally broke out on the West Kelowna side of the William R. Bennett Bridge shortly before 1 p.m. on March 20. The fire was visible from downtown Kelowna.

Fire crews were quick to respond, tackling multiple spot fires not far from the highway.

A fire inspector with West Kelowna Fire Rescue said the fire was accidentally caused by a cigarette, and the individual was unable to put it out. He then flagged down nearby drivers for help.

The blaze grew to about 200-by-50 feet in size before being extinguished.

While that blaze was still smoking, West Kelowna fire crews split off to attend another reported fire on Glenrosa Road.

Up Glenrosa Road, the fire which was reported from the roadway as a grass fire, turned out to be an unmonitored burn pile in thick brush, on private property. Crews extinguished the fire and with the help of the property owner, ensured the area was safe.

According to a later update by West Kelowna Fire Rescue, all West Kelowna fire resources were required to battle the two blazes.

“Both fires were human-caused, and serve as a reminder that grass fire season is now upon us. WKFR reminds residents to fully extinguish cooking and camp fires, and to use extreme caution when disposing of cigarettes and other smoking materials,” said West Kelowna Fire Rescue assistant fire chief, Brent Watson.

Later that afternoon, at about 4:30 p.m., another grass fire sparked in Kelowna, due to an out-of-control burn pile caused by high winds. Kelowna fire crews rushed to the fire, located in an open field on a farm on Belgo Road. They were able to quickly extinguish it.

READ MORE: Peachland grass fire possibly caused by ‘flame up in the sky’

READ MORE: Kelowna fire crews extinguish blaze at Okanagan Golf Club


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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