The Keremeos fire department is praising the quick actions of several farm workers in dousing a vehicle fire yesterday (August 25) afternoon.
Fire chief Jordy Bosscha said the workers helped to prevent a wildfire that could have been “fairly disastrous.”
At 2:12 p.m. the Keremeos and District Fire Department received a call of a vehicle on fire. The vehicle was located on a farm off East Road.
Before they left the fire hall, crews could see a large plume of black smoke toward the south end of the valley.
“Fortunately the farm workers had irrigation and some fire hoses… they were able to knock the fire down and keep it from spreading,” said Bosscha. “It was a big save, it could have been fairly disastrous.”
Strong winds complicated the situation. Gusts were blowing smoke and flames toward the orchard and mountainside, Bosscha explained.
The fire department is currently unsure how the fire started. However, Bosscha understands the engine compartment started to smoke while hauling fruit out of the orchard. When the operator opened the hood, it erupted in flames.
The fire chief said the fire had been mostly knocked down by the farm workers by the time firefighters arrived.
“Good on them, potentially it saved a fairly large, out-of-control wildfire,” said Bosscha.
Fire conditions in Keremeos are still very dry. There is currently no burning allowed except for campfires, which may also soon be banned, said Boscha.
“We’re looking at shutting that down as well. It’s just too dry.”