A truck pulling a trailer sparked a grass fire which spread rapidly just south of Vernon off Highway 97 MOnday, Sept. 7. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

UPDATE: Grass fire forces North Okanagan highway closure

Fully involved fire off Highway 97 near Kekuli Bay

A grass fire burning south of Vernon has spread approximately one kilometre and closed down a major artery.

A truck pulling a trailer sparked the blaze shortly before 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7 off Highway 97, near Kekuli Bay on Westridge Road.

All the occupants of the burning vehicle got out safely before crews were called to the area.

The fire is now approximately 35 hectares in size and has been classified as out of control. Those travelling between Vernon and Kelowna will see the smoke as they pass through the highway and can expect delays as crews are working to extinguish the wildfire. The southbound lane of Highway 97 is closed, with traffic backed up until Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.

No structures appear to be in danger.

Forestry crews have been called into action, and three air tankers and two helicopters are actioning the blaze.

Traffic is impacted mainly in the southbound lane, as the fire is burning on hillside next to the highway between the Greater Vernon landfill and the Predator Ridge turnoff at Bailey Road.

The fire is climbing the hill near the seed orchard and can be seen from Commonage Road near the regional compost facility.

Truck fire spreads to grass off Highway 97

Posted by Vernon Morning Star on Monday, September 7, 2020

There was a grass fire in the same vicinity last year.

READ MORE: Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

READ MORE: Lake Country fire deemed suspicious


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

firefirefightersTransportation

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

 

A forestry crew member drives next to the flaming hillside off Highway 97 Monday, where a truck fire sparked a wildfire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Just Posted

Ahead of the provincial election on Oct. 24, Enderby residents put their questions to the Shuswap riding’s three candidates: Greg Kyllo for the BC Liberal Party, Sylvia Lindgren for the BC NDP and Owen Madden for the BC Green Party. The candidates recorded their answers in videos distributed by the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce. (Salmon Arm Observer image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Shuswap candidates answer Enderby’s top election questions

The candidates submitted video responses for an all-candidates forum ahead of the Oct. 24 election

Shuswap BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren reports several campaign signs have recently been damaged or removed. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap BC NDP candidate says campaign signs stolen and damaged

Sylvia Lindgren says with pandemic, signs are more important to candidates this election

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

From left, city workers Hugh Bennett, Chris Carr and Teneal Crossman secure the fountain they’ve just removed from McGuire Lake on Oct. 21, 2020 before the ice moves in. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm fountain disappears along with summer

No more fountain in McGuire Lake as winter preparations begin

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP located a hidden compartment in a vehicle, leading to a significant drug seizure, police said in a media release Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP find illicit drugs in hidden vehicle compartment

Police seized 4 kg of methamphetamine from a Jeep involved in a violent hit and run March 24

Most Read