New fires near Joe Rich

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.

Wildfire Management crews are mopping up two spot sized blazes that were sparked Monday afternoon, along McCulloch Forest Service Road.

Fire information officer Kayla Pepper says both fires were considered a Rank 1, or a smouldering grass fire.  There were 13 personnel on site that assisted with the blaze and no air support was needed.

The fires were approximately half a kilometre apart, with one blaze growing to 0.1 hectares in size and the other just 10 metres by 10 metres.

There were no structures in the vicinity of the blazes however Pepper says Wildfire Management is happy someone passed the fires and called in to report them despite the fact the area was very smoky.

“We are happy that people are calling in, not to report haze, but to tell us of actual fires they are seeing from visible flame to a column of smoke. It is very helpful that people are still calling even though it is very smoky.”

The cause of both fires are under investigation, as there was no lightning reported in the area.

UPDATE 4 p.m.

Joe Rich fire crews and area residents made quick work of a small blaze that ignited on the side of highway 33,near Falconridge road, Monday afternoon.

Fire Chief Ben Wasyliuk says when he arrived on scene residents were already tending to the fire with extinguishers and hoses.

“We were able to put it out fairly quickly and get a guard around it so it didn’t spread.”

The fire grew approximately 30 feet up the bank and about 80 feet wide according to Wasyliuk.

There were no homes in the immediate vicinity, but Wasyliuk says neighbours are aware of the dry conditions and intense fire season and were quick to take action.

Highway 33 was reduced to single alternating lane for a period of time while crews working on the fire. Wasyliuk says his team was assisted by a traffic crew which had just completed work in the area and were traveling back towards Kelowna when the fire happened.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

UPDATE 2:00 P.M.

BC Wildfire crews are making quick work of two fires in the Joe Rich area only half a kilometre apart.

Fire information officer Kayla Pepper says the eight person crew is working to completely extinguish the two smaller Rank 1 fires.

The smaller blaze is 10 metres by 10 metres, while the second fire is 0.1 hectares in size.

They fires are across from the hairpin on Highway 33, just south of the river near McCulloch Road.


Two new wildfires have ignited across from the hairpin on Highway 33, just south of the river near McCulloch Road.

BC Wildfire Service crews have just arrived on scene and eight forest fire fighters are working on the two fires.

Fire information officer Kayla Pepper says the two small fires are burning next to each other and resources are being shared between the fires.

The smaller blaze is 10 metres by 10 metres and is currently burning at a Rank 1, while the second fire is 0.1 hectares in size and is showing some Rank 2 activity and open flame.

The Castanet newsroom has received several reports of plumes of smoke in that area.

Castanet will have more details as soon as they are available.

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