A helicopter dumps water on the Kault Hill fire Sunday, Sept. 3 as part of the air team, while on the ground, regional fire departments provide water and personnel. - Image credit: Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer.

Kault Hill wildfire ‘under control’

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the blaze near Salmon Arm

On Labour Day, fewer fire fighters are labouring on the Kault Hill fire about eight kilometres west of Salmon Arm than there were on Sunday.

Wildfire BC reports Monday morning that the fire is 100 per cent contained, so it is classified as under control.

Rachel Witt, fire information officer with Wildfire BC, says the fire was more accurately mapped this morning and measures 0.9 hectares. There was no growth in the blaze overnight.

She says 11 personnel, which include fire fighters as well as fire investigation staff, are currently working on the fire.

The cause is still under investigation.

A combination of Columbia Shuswap Regional District fire departments – Salmon Arm, Tappen, Shuswap and Sunnybrae, as well as Wildfire BC crews, began fighting the fire Sunday morning.

Highway 1 was closed for about an hour around 11 a.m. while planes dropped retardant on the blaze, which was working its way up the steep and rocky terrain below the highway look-out on Kault Hill.

Related: Kault Hill fire contained

Otherwise traffic was moving slowly through the area all day, motorists often getting a close-up view of the mastery of pilots’ skill as they guided their aircraft above the rocky bluff to hit the fire below with water.

A helicopter and four water bombers were working the fire, the fixed-wing aircraft dropping water from Shuswap Lake every three or four minutes.

Just one structure was reported to be under evacuation alert, a house at the highway level.

Witt says reports were received Saturday night of a fire in the same fire zone at White Lake.

Related: Peachland fire burning at 1,500 hectares

Although that fire was included on the ministry’s wildfire map, as happens when an investigation is underway, Witt said it “ended up being a smoke chase.”

She said, with all the smoke, “we’re definitely receiving heightened amounts of phone reports,” particularly with the size of the Elephant Hill fire.



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An Air Tractor Fireboss drops water on the Kault Hill fire Sunday, Sept. 3, providing a close-up view of their skilled work to motorists on the Trans-Canada Highway. Photo courtesy of Salmon Arm Fire Department.

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