West Kelowna  

Deer impact trashes SUV

A collision between an SUV and a deer in West Kelowna demolished the front end of the vehicle Monday night.

The black Range Rover struck a four-point buck at about 80 km/h on Highway 97 about 8 p.m.

The collision blocked traffic just south of Friends Pub.

One person was reportedly taken to hospital in an ambulance, according to witness reports. 

The deer was apparently thrown about 50 feet up the road by the impact.

Southbound traffic was reduced to a single lane while the incident was cleared.


Doing good on social media

A graduate of Mount Boucherie Secondary is being recognized for trying to make a positive difference through social media.

Karah Hopgood is one of 16 students, and the only one from Canada recognized during the first ever #Digital4Good event at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on Monday.

"It's going to be amazing. I am very excited to go and represent Canada and meet other people from around the world," Hopgood said recently, between classes at UBC Okanagan.

Hopgood created the "Humans of Boucherie" Instagram account, which recounts personal stories shared by students and staff which built trust within the school community.

She says it's a snapshot of peoples lives, or a segment of it.

Hopgood got the idea while attending a camp at the University of Santa Barbara.

The #Digital4Good event is spearheaded by #ICanHelp, a non-profit organization committed to empowering students to play an active role in improving the online environment.

"#ICanHelp has worked with over 250,000 students to be the digital change they want to see," said co-founder Kim Kerr, adding the Sept. 18 event in San Francisco is designed to raise awareness of the power of the student voice for social good in social media.

"The focus is always too much on the negative, and we have some amazing youth out there making a difference," said co-founder Matt Soth.

"We want students to inspire students to be digital leaders."

Car fires 'suspicious'

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

Given the amount of smoke and windy conditions, Monday's car fire in Glenrosa was upgraded to a second alarm.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue requested that Peachland firefighters respond with their water tender, and the BC Wildfire Service responded with an initial attack crew and helicopter diverted from the Finlay Creek wildfire.

Fire spread from four burning vehicles into grass and brush on the rural acreage, threatening to involve nearby timber.

"The vehicle fires were extinguished, and the grass fire was thoroughly cold-trailed to ensure there were no remaining hot-spots," said assistant fire chief Darren Lee. "A fire-watch detail has been left on scene, and they will ensure that any remaining hot-spots are dealt with."  

The fire has been determined as human caused and it is believed to be suspicious. The investigation has been turned over to RCMP.

UPDATE: 4 p.m.

Investigators are working to determine the exact cause of a bush fire that started in a vehicle Monday afternoon.

Assistant fire chief Darren Lee said there were at least 10 cars in the vacant lot, four of which were on fire when firefighters arrived on scene.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.

UPDATE: 1:55 p.m.

The fire spread into surrounding trees and grew to approximately 30x30 metres in size before being extinguished.

UPDATE: 1:48 p.m.

Authorities confirm four vehicles burned in Monday's fire in Glenrosa.

UPDATE 1:08 P.M.

The fire appears to be under control. 

Emergency crews remain on scene. 

UPDATE 1:05 P.M.

A Castanet reporter on the scene has learned that multiple vehicles are on fire. 

B.C. Forestry is currently on scene. 

RCMP and emergency crews are assessing the situation. 

Gates Road is blocked of by police.


Multiple reports are coming in of visible smoke and flame in the Glenrosa area of West Kelowna.

Firefighters are en route to the area around Gates Road and Glenrosa roads.

The smoke is apparently from a structure fire.

Castanet has a reporter heading to the scene and will provide more details as they become available.

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Scaling back fire op

The BC Wildfire Service will be scaling back operations on the Finlay Creek wildfire near Peachland.

"We still have resources on it although it's 100 per cent contained," said Justine Hunse, fire information officer. "We have 36 firefighting personnel on site, including dangerous tree fallers and one helicopter."

Hunse said with things quiet, operations will be cut in the next few days.

At its peak, the Finlay Creek fire was 2,228 hectares in size.

Meanwhile, parachute firefighters have been pulled off of the seven-hectare K Mountain wildfire near Keremeos.

"The wildfire service continues to monitor the area in case there are any changes. The area has seen high winds lately but the fire still has not grown beyond its perimeter."

Hunse said the only new fire start last night was near Lytton but it was small and there were no major new incidents to report.

Grateful dog owner

Scott Metherel is grateful for everything he has.

And, it's not much.

What he does have is the love of his two dogs, and an abandoned trailer near Grand Forks to call home.

Metherel says he doesn't need anything else.

But, when one of his dogs, 11-year-old Dhagda came down with an infection in one of his ears, his whole world came crashing down.

And, he says, if it wasn't for the kindness shown to him, and Dhagda, by Dr. Oz at Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital, he doesn't know what he would have done.

Metherel's odyssey to get help began in Grand Forks where he said the vet clinic in town was closed. He made his way to Kelowna but, because he couldn't afford treatment, nobody would help.

"I stopped in at a thrift store in Summerland, and they sent me to Dr. Oz," said Metherel.

"I'm just so grateful for what he did for Dhagda. He performed surgery on my dog and didn't charge me."

Turns out, Dhagda had more than an infection. He had an aural hematoma which, if not treated, could have been fatal.

Metherel says he and Dhagda have been back for a couple of follow up visits, and the dog is doing fine.

BC Cons eye Clark's seat

BC Conservatives are eyeing Christy Clark's former riding to get a toehold in the legislature.

The party will elect a new board of directors at its annual general meeting, Sept. 30 in Langley.

Members will vote on constitutional and bylaw changes, including a proposed name change.

Aside from organizing a leadership race, members will assemble a campaign to elect a BC Conservative in the Kelowna West byelection forced by the former premier's departure from politics.

The AGM runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Murrayville Hall, 21667 48th Ave., Langley, and includes guest speakers Jack Froese, mayor of Langley, Lori Ackerman from Fort St. John, and former New Westminster-Burnaby candidate Chloe Ellis.

The public is invited to attend.


Jeep and car crash

A Jeep and a car collided shortly after 5 p.m. in the roundabout on Westlake Road and Stevens Road.

RCMP and Ambulance attended. No injuries have been reported. 

Traffic is moving well through the area. 

Gas leak under repair

UPDATE: 3:40 p.m.

FortisBC crews should have a gas leak on WFN land repaired in about two hours.

Spokesperson Diana Sorace says the leak was brought under control by 3:04 p.m. and repairs continue.

Three customers have had their natural gas service interrupted by the incident.

Fortis reminds the public to always "call or click" before you dig to obtain information on the location of buried gas lines and other utilities.

UPDATE: 3 p.m.

A gas leak on WFN land Friday afternoon was apparently caused by contractors doing concrete work striking the gas line.

ORIGINAL: 2:55 p.m.

Emergency crews have responded to a natural gas leak on Westbank First Nation land.

West Kelowna firefighters and Fortis Gas workers are on the scene at the Tesoro Arca townhouse development on Cougar Road.

Crews have an area behind caution tape at a building that is still under construction.

It's not yet known what caused the leak.

Smoke from movie, not fire

If you see smoke in the Glenrosa area of West Kelowna this afternoon, don't worry.

It's all just movie magic.

Crews from the film "I'm Not a Bad Person" are using fake smoke to replicate a fire scene for the movie.

The film is set against a wildfire background, and has been filming in the Peachland area since last month.

Assistant location manager Bob Bricker told Castanet crews are working on Oriole Drive, and there is no real fire in the area.

Neighbours battle blaze

UPDATE: 8 p.m.

A suspicious, human-caused grass fire in West Kelowna could have ended much worse, if it wasn't for the quick actions of several residents and others in the area. 

Simeon Kembel was heading to a friends house just before 6 p.m. Thursday when he noticed smoke behind the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club in the Glenrosa area. 

Expecting to find fire crews handling the blaze, Kembel instead found his friend hooking together some hoses in his backyard to fight the fire. 

"I grabbed the end of the hose, fired it up, and did what we could to shut down the flames," Kembel said. "They were pretty good sized flames, actually."

The grass fire came within 15 metres of nearby homes and were about to reach some cedar hedges, before the concerted effort from the neighbourhood knocked the fire down. 

"It was a pretty good job and co-ordination from everyone," Kembel said. "Two people had hoses ... a couple of the other neighbours brought rakes and shovels down and everyone just kind of pitched in."

Thanks to the efforts of those in the neighbourhood, the fire was under control by the time the West Kelowna Fire Department arrived with 16 firefighters and several fire trucks. 

"The fire department came booking it down into the backyard and they came down, and then they kind of stopped and looked and were like, 'well there's no flames, it's just smouldering,'" Kembel said. "We had it knocked down pretty good by the time they got there."

Fire crews tackled the remaining hot spots and will re-check the scene later this evening. 

In addition to the fire department, the BC Wildfire Service diverted a helicopter and nine wildfire firefighters from the Finlay Creek wildfire to assist, but they were not needed. 

The fire department has finished its investigation of the fire scene and concluded it was human caused. The case has now been turned over to the RCMP.

ORIGINAL: 6:20 p.m.

Fire crews rushed to the Powers Creek area in West Kelowna Thursday evening, after a grass fire was sparked.

The blaze appears to have been burning behind the Webber Road Community Centre, but it has reportedly now been put out.

Details on the fire remain sparse, but several firetrucks were sent to the scene. 

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