Members of the B.C. Wildfire Service assisted the Keremeos Fire Department in fighting a blaze near River Road on Monday, April 5. (Submitted)

Members of the B.C. Wildfire Service assisted the Keremeos Fire Department in fighting a blaze near River Road on Monday, April 5. (Submitted)

Two fires in two days keep South Okanagan firefighters busy

One fire continued to send up smoke the next day

The Keremeos Fire Department had a busy start to their week.

On Monday, April 5, the department called in B.C. Wildfire for assistance in fighting a fire in the hills near River Road.

“It was a benched hillside and tough to get manpower and equipment to,” said fire chief Jordy Bosscha.

The department was called out to the fire around 3:30 p.m., and spent the next six hours containing and putting out the fire. On Tuesday, members of the department continued to pass by the area on patrol.

During one of those patrols, smoke was seen, which was eventually tracked down to be coming from a root system that would require an excavator to expose and fully extinguish.

READ MORE: Kings Park goal net catches fire in Penticton

The fire mostly spread on shrubs and grasses, but it did get into a nearby orchard where it consumed several older cherry trees and posed a risk of spreading to nearby buildings.

“We managed to pinch it off and knock down the head of the fire, in seconds, otherwise it would have gone above us and we wouldn’t have been able to catch it. Then it would have been heading towards the houses and some construction equipment,” said Bosscha.

Fighting the fire was made more difficult by the conditions, with gusts of wind pushing the fire on.

In addition to the two bush vehicles, two engines and utility vehicle, the 21 members of the Keremeos Fire Department were joined by four members of the B.C Wildfire Service’s Penticton Forest Zone.

On Sunday, April, a fire at Coulthard Avenue off of Highway 3 in Cawston consumed around dozen vehicles and several sheds.

That fire, which was reported to the department at 3:42 a.m., also faced some gusting winds.

“It had come in as a structure fire, and one shed is completely destroyed and the other is still standing,” said Bosscha. “It spread on the grass and got into some older willow trees that we had to cut down since they were burning up high.”

Two engines, a bush truck and a utility truck attended the fire.

READ MORE: Keremeos Fire Department douses fire

The causes of both fires are under investigation.

These kinds of fires aren’t out of the ordinary, and neither is calling for support from B.C. Wildfire at this time of year, according to the fire chief.

“Quite regularly we have forestry out helping us with burns in the area around once or twice a year, let’s say it’s not abnormal,” said Bosscha.

The fire chief advised residents to follow all the rules and regulations when it comes to fires, including burning only on good venting days, ensuring that fires are extinguished and cold to the touch before walking away so that wind doesn’t spread any embers and have fire fighting equipment and tools on hand.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

The future of the Eagle Pass Lookout cabin is being discussed. (File photo)
Options presented for future of former Eagle Pass fire lookout in Shuswap

Stakeholders met in 2020 to discuss the restoration, or possible removal of the cabin

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society will be expanding its offerings to seniors this year and hopes to return its Cyber Seniors program when one-to-one training is once again allowed. (Photo contributed)
Shuswap organization aims to help seniors become more cyber savvy

BC Hydro report finds seniors reluctant to use

The Salmon Arm RCMP are investigating a Saturday, April 10 gathering at Blackburn Park for provincial health order violations. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm RCMP investigating Blackburn Park rally

Police say more than 200 people in attendance

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

A dumpster was on fire behind a residential complex in downtown Penticton Tuesday afternoon. (Brennan Phillips Western News)
Dumpster fire extinguished in downtown Penticton

There has been a string of dumpster fires lately

Skogie’s Express Tunnel Wash on Anderson Way in Vernon. (Submitted photo)
Lawsuit dismissed after vehicle damaged while inside Okanagan car wash

Civil Resolution Tribunal dismisses driver’s claim following a collision inside Skogie’s car wash in Vernon

(Mayor Cindy Fortin - Peachland)
Peachland mayor declines early vaccination offer

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she wants seniors, immunocompromised individuals to get the shot first

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

WATCH: Conservation group releases short doc on saving South Okanagan’s ‘precious’ Sickle Point

Sickle Point, the last intact wetland near Skaha Lake, is facing the prospect of development

Most Read