Fire crews respond to two separate encampment fires Saturday morning

Two morning fires at camps

Fire crews in Kelowna were kept busy Saturday morning, responding to two separate fires that had started at encampments.

At about 6:30 a.m., firefighters were first called to the 2600 block of Enterprise Way after receiving multiple reports of a large brush fire in the area.

Crews arrived and found a 30 by 30 foot fire near Mill Creek, along the Rail Trail. The area has long been a popular spot for people in the city who are experiencing homelessness to camp.

Platoon Captain Scott Clarke says the fire had fully consumed an encampment, but all occupants of the camp had left the scene.

Crews quickly extinguished the blaze, closing down a section of Enterprise Way for a short time.

The cause of the fire has been classified as “suspicious.”

Just 30 minutes later, the Kelowna Fire Department responded to another nearby fire, around the 2300 block of Highway 97.

Firefighters found a small fire that had broken out in another encampment. There were about 10 people at the camp when crews arrived, but there were no injuries.

Fire crews quickly extinguished the fire, and its cause is considered accidental.

Overnight temperatures have been dropping in recent weeks as winter approaches. Last night, the temperature dropped to 2.6 C in Kelowna, and it's expected to plummet to below freezing next week. Additionally, every shelter in the city is full at this time.

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