West Kelowna  

Boucherie fire suspicious

4:20 p.m. update:

West Kelowna Fire Rescue, in cooperation with the RCMP, has concluded that the fire on Mt. Boucherie last night was suspicious in nature with an undetermined cause.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue responded at approximately 10:30 p.m. on August 5 to a report of a fire in the forest on the southern exposure, near the bottom, of Mt. Boucherie. Crews worked to put out the fire through night and it has now been extinguished. Fire Rescue will monitor the area for spot fires and flare ups over the next few days.

The fire grew to approximately .42 hectares in size.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue reminds the public to be extra vigilant when visiting forested areas, to obey the campfire ban that is currently in place and to report any illegal burning or firework activity by calling the fire department or 911.

11 A.M. update:

Fire crews were back on the scene of a small forest fire on Mount Boucherie Wednesday morning.

Crews were tending to a few hot spots while investigators combed the area looking for a possible cause.

"We don't have a cause right now, but hopefully we can figure it out," says West Kelowna assistant chief, Chad Gartrell.

The fire was first reported shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday north of Mission Hill above Pinot Noir Drive.

Neighbours in the area report seeing dirt bikers in the vicinity earlier in the evening.

With the abundance of trails, the area is very popular with off road enthusiasts.

Gartrell reminds people to use extreme caution in the woods. Any little spark can start a fire.

"The summer is still pretty early as far as fire season is concerned. We've got high temperatures again today and there's not much moisture in the fuels. Anything that happens can typically turn into something very quickly," says Gartrell

"We caution everybody to make sure they are careful with any type of lighters, matches and smoking materials."

Fire crews were able to locate and extinguish Tuesday's fire quickly before it could threaten any homes.

"It was a little tough to find and get access with our vehicles, but we did find a trail that came through okay.

Once we had it we were set up with our tools and bladders and were able to feed it with water very quickly."

The fire danger rating throughout the Okanagan is high to extreme.

The long range forecast is calling for sunny skies with temperatures in the low 30's with no precipitation in sight through the weekend.


12 a.m. update:

The fire appears to be under control, as crews work to contain several major hot spots.

The ground team started to gain the upper hand when their bush trucks found a way to get close enough to the fire to fill up a bladder so hoses could be used.

West Kelowna firefighters are working in very steep terrain to build a guard around the fire, and winds appear to have calmed.

Crews remain on scene to mop up, there is no threat to nearby structures.

11:30 p.m. Update:

Winds are carrying flames from a brush fire on Mt. Boucherie up hill and into several trees.

Two bush trucks have arrived on scene and crews are working to contain the blaze.

The fire seems to be moving away from nearby homes and structures.

11:15 p.m.: West Kelowna fire crews are on the scene of a grass fire on Mount Boucherie.

The blaze appears to be north of Mission Hill above Pinot Noir Drive.

Forestry is aware of the fire, but they have not been called into action at this time.

The fire is approximately 1 km up hill from the nearest structures.

Castanet has a reporter on scene and will have more information as it becomes available.


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