A member of the Tappen Fire Department making sure the blaze was fully extinguished on the morning of Friday, August 2. (Photo submitted)

Abandoned campfire in Sunnybrae extinguished by civilians and fire department

The fire may have burned all night long

Neighbours and family came together to extinguish an abandoned campfire in Sunnybrae earlier this week.

At approximately 6:45 a.m. on Friday August 2, Beth Kuemper and her husband Stephen received a phone call from a neighbour who first noticed the smoke rising near where the Kuempers live on Mobley Road.

Read more: Campfire doused in North Okanagan

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Using his quad, Stephen Kuemper searched through the forest at the end of Mobley Road until he was able to locate the fire. Kuemper then called his brother Mitch and together they hauled two containers of water along with some shovels and worked to put out the fire. Soon after, the Tappen Fire Department arrived to ensure the fire was completely out.

“We are very grateful it was a happy ending to what could have been a very disastrous story,” wrote Beth Kuemper in a Facebook message to the Observer. Kuemper posted a video of the fire to Facebook where it garnered many frustrated comments.

Ryan Gray, the Tappen fire chief who received the call that morning, said property and lives were at risk.

Read more: Summerland firefighters extinguish abandoned campfire

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“(The fire) could have definitely dug down into that root system and stayed there for a while and come up at another time,” said Gray.

Since the fire was found in the morning, Gray suspects the fire may have been burning all night from a campfire lit the previous evening.


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