Wildfire near UBCO out

UPDATE 8:15 P.M.

Firefighters with the Kelowna Fire Department have doused a wildfire in the area of UBC Okanagan.

The blaze was called in shortly before 5:30 p.m. Friday in the area of Academy Way and John Hindle Drive. Smoke could be seen from around the Ellison and Rutland areas.

The fire grew to about 200 feet by 80 feet before crews were able to bring it under control, Crews are now installing a fire guard around the perimeter.

Two engines, two bush trucks, a water tender, a command unit and the KFD ATV Gator responded to the scene.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.


UPDATE 6:15 P.M.

Kelowna fire crews are on the scene of what is now being described as a smoldering ground fire below some student housing near UBC Okanagan.

The fire broke out shortly after 5 p.m. Friday.

Platoon Captain Tim Light said the fire is approximately 150 feet by 150 feet.

"It's in a fairly wooded area," said Light.

"We do have a constant northbound breeze, so we are trying to get this contained as quick as we can, because the breeze is going to come up during the evening."

Seven units plus the fire department's ATV are working the fire.

Light said access has been a bit of a challenge.

"We've used one of the farmer's fields here to get in and get below the fire.

"There was a small walking path to the north of it so we are trying to see if we can access it."

The fire is currently burning below some student housing and other townhouses currently under construction.

Castanet content manager Jon Manchester said the fire was about 100 yards below those buildings.

While no cause has yet been determined, Light said it did start near the walking trail.

"With the walking path being near it, you can only wonder what happened."

He stopped short of blaming a carelessly discarded cigarette.

Forestry has been alerted to the situation and remain on stand-by in case they are required. They have not been called in.

Fire crews are on the scene of a large grass fire near the campus of UBC Okanagan.

The fire is burning in an area below a housing development.

Local firefighters are working the fire.

More details when they become available.

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