WEST KELOWNA – Fire crews worked through the night to put out a fire in the Smith Creek area.
Forestry crews are on scene mopping up of what remains of the early morning forest fire that happened on private property, according to a press release from the District of West Kelowna.
The fire started around midnight and grew to a half-hectare before they brought it down. West Kelowna Fire Rescue chief Wayne Schnitzler says a few houses are near the area but were not impacted.
Police went door to door in the area warning residents last night on Smith Creek Road, Copper Ridge Drive and Whispering Hills Drive.
The fire was reported at 12:22 a.m. in the gully near the end of Dixie Road, according to Central Okanagan Regional District emergency operations. A release early this morning said 21 firefighters from West Kelowna, two crews from Peachland and B.C. Forest Service are working on the blaze. Three fire engines, two water tenders and two command vehicles are on site.
An Emergency Operations Centre has been activated as a precaution. The public is asked to avoid the Smith Creek area, monitor cordemergency.ca for more information and call 911 only in the case of emergency.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
West Kelowna Fire and Rescue issued a reminder to residents to be extra cautious while enjoying community forests.
- Do not use fireworks, discharging fireworks is illegal in the District without permission from the fire chief. Fireworks and sky lanterns are also prohibited by the Wildfire Management Branch.
- Completely extinguish campfires and never leave a fire unattended. Douse with water and stir ashes until cold. Monitor the wind. Do not burn or create an open campfire in windy conditions.
- Do not throw away cigarettes, matches or smoking materials from a motor vehicle or on park grounds. Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished before discarding.
- Follow all posted guidelines regarding open and backyard burning. Check regularly witht the Kamloops Fire Centre at 250-554-5500 or visit www.bcwildfire.ca for the latest information.
- Remove combustible material and shut off natural gas or propane before leaving your residence for an extended period.
- Contact 911 or the fire department if you notice an unattended fire or the illegal discharge of fireworks.
For more information about fire use outside the District boundaries, contact your local Wildfire Management Branch. To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call toll-free 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
— This story was updated at 6:21 a.m. with more details, including pictures and video.
— This story was updated at 1:41 p.m. to include details from the District of West Kelowna.