Fire crews put forth an immense effort to contain a wildfire burning within a few hundred metres of homes near Sicamous Creek.
The fire was discovered on the evening of May 29 after the Sicamous RCMP responded to a report of emergency flares being fired into the air near the Sicamous Creek Falls Trail. Investigating officers noted a plume of smoke rising from a densely-forested and steep slope on the far side of Sicamous Creek.
Fire crews from the BC Wildfire service and the Sicamous and Malakwa Fire Departments rushed to the scene to begin suppressing the blaze. They were assisted by an airtanker that did multiple flyovers dropping retardant.
Sicamous Fire Chief Brett Ogino said the fire was still being mopped up late in the morning on May 30.
According to Ogino, a local resident with some heavy equipment cleared an old overgrown logging trail that accessed the area where the fire was burning. Once they were able to access the fire, crews got hoses hooked up and began work extinguishing it.
Ogino said a side-by-side was used to ferry some firefighters and equipment up the steep slope to the site of the fire.
“Definitely a good result from a lot of hard work last night, the guys did a good job by all accounts,” he said.
Taylor MacDonald, an information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, said the fire fire was brought under control at 0.2 hectares in size. Three wildfire service firefighters assisted the local fire departments on May 29 and were also on scene to help extinguish hot spots the following day.
MacDonald said the fire is suspected to have been human caused as there was no lightning in the area.
No structures or private property were damaged by the fire.
The area was searched but the person who shot the flares that first alerted police to the area of the fire was never located.
“Lighting flares for a non emergency purpose is an offence under the Provincial Wildfire Act. A fine of $575 for dropping, releasing a burning substance could be issued to the person responsible,” said Sgt. Murray McNeil of the Sicamous RCMP.