Falkland fire brought smoke to Shuswap

The region’s largest wildfire of the season, near Falkland, has been doused.

  • Sep. 7, 2011 12:00 p.m.

The region’s largest wildfire of the season, near Falkland, has been doused.

A fire broke out on Dump Road, west of Falkland Thursday around 2 p.m., reaching 22 hectares in size. But by Friday morning, crews had the blaze fully contained and were on scene trying to determine a cause.

“This is actually the largest fire we’ve had since May,” said Lindsay Carnes, fire information officer for the Kamloops Fire Centre. “It’s been a good year for people in the area with less smoke in the air and less worry about fires.”

Smoke drifted towards Salmon Arm, prompting some resident to call authorities with worries the fire was close to the city.

Quick action by the Falkland Volunteer Fire Department, fire suppression crews, air tankers (deployed from Kamloops, Penticton and Castlegar) and helicopters helped contain the blaze from reaching any nearby structures.

“It got within less than half a kilometre of homes so we did have crews spraying on the ground to soak the area,” said Carnes.

This fire is a reminder to the public conditions still exist for wildfires. Campers are reminded that no campfires are to be left unattended.

“Thanks to the unsettled weather and cool conditions in most of the province, this fire season has been one of the slowest on record,” said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.

“The public should keep in mind that, in spite of the cooler, unstable weather, wildfires can happen in an instant.”

So far this season, crews have responded to 209 wildfires within the Kamloops Fire Centre’s boundaries, 134 of which were person-caused.

 

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