Jun 17, 2012 / 5:55 pm
Update: Nearly 2,400 customers were without power as a result of Sunday's incident. According to BC Hydro, power was restored about 8:45 p.m. Sunday.
A large hand controlled kite started a chain reaction which resulted in a large grass fire on an open field on Gellatly Road Sunday afternoon.
RCMP Cst. James Stanviloff says officers were tracking the kite from the West Kelowna RCMP detachment just prior to the incident.
"A man was using a stunt kite almost like a parachute, when one of the safety lines broke off, which sent the kite into one of the power-lines," says Stanviloff.
"It snapped the line which started the fire."
The incident occurred about 4:15 p.m., and knocked out power to several buildings in the immediate area. Other homes, several kilometres away, also experienced a brief power surge.
Fire Captain Lionel Bateman says the resulting grass fire was about 300 feet by 40 feet. Bateman says strong winds from the south-west actually helped crews as it blew the fire towards Gellatly Road and away from the field.
The fire, which sent smoke billowing several hundred feet into the air was put out quickly, however Bateman says crews were waiting for BC Hydro to confirm the power lines were de-energized before working closer to the road.
Witnesses tell Castanet one woman was taken to hospital with apparent back injuries. The woman was sitting at a bus bench after finishing a shift at a nearby restaurant, when the accident occurred just behind her.
She apparently jumped when the line sparked, twisting her back. She was taken by ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital.
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