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Fire near Swan Lake

UPDATE: 8 P.M.

Two witnesses told Castanet they saw the fire soon after it started. 

Jeremy Korhonen said he was driving up McLennan Road when he saw two fires, which he estimated to be about 50 feet by 50 feet at the time.

He said when winds gusted, the flames grew significantly.

"Thirty seconds, and it would climb another 50 feet kind of thing," he said. "It's amazing how fast it went, though."

He said he turned around and headed to a house next to the fires, where he and that resident began spraying a garden hose at the flames.

Soon thereafter, fire trucks showed up, and the duo was asked to leave the area.

Jeff Campen said he looked out his living room window and saw that his neighbour's property had caught fire, before realizing some of his property was also burning.

"I just packed up the dog and kids and headed to town," Campen said, noting he didn't believe he would get to stay at home Wednesday night.

He said the flames were about 100 metres from his house.


UPDATE: 7:45 P.M.

The BC Wildfire Service has confirmed it has responded to the fire.

Crews from the provincial service have joined the BX Swan Lake Fire Department and Armstrong Fire Department, with ambulances and RCMP on the scene as well.

Two BC Wildfire Service helicopters are retrieving water from Swan Lake and dumping it on the fire, with 10 firefighters on the ground.

Skimmers are also en route to the fire, which is estimated at one hectare in size, and classified as a Rank 2 fire.

That means it is a smouldering ground fire with some open flames.

While the service could not comment on the activity at the time, a spokesperson said lowering temperatures in the evening would help the firefighters.

Witnesses have said that the smoke appears to be dying down.


UPDATE: 7:25 P.M.

According to two witnesses, the smoke coming from the area appears to have died down.

Kim Bolton said he saw "quite a lot of smoke coming from the area" about an hour ago, but that it is not as bad anymore.

"It certainly died down in the last little bit," he said.

Cameron Nachtegaele said it "looked like it was going to take off" when the smoke first started pluming from the hills.

"They got it knocked down really good," he added.


UPDATE: 7:10 P.M.

One witness has reported the fire to be above Atlantis Waterslides, up near McLennan Road.


ORIGINAL: 6:45 P.M.

A fire appears to have broken out in the BX hills above Swan Lake, near Vernon.

A witness said it is on the east side of Swan Lake and that fire trucks look to be on their way.

Castanet will update with details when they are available.

Send your photos and video to Castanet's newsroom at [email protected]



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