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Three fire departments respond to band land grass fire

July 31, 2013 - 10:26 AM

VERNON - Just a couple hours after a Vernon apartment building caught fire Tuesday evening, departments were called out to a blaze at the intersection of Westside Road and Highway 97.

BX-Swan Lake fire chief Bill Wacey says his department was called out to a grass fire near the old Go-Kart area around 6:20 p.m. Arriving about the same time were the Armstrong-Spallumcheen and Okanagan Indian Band departments.

"We had some challenges setting up our water system, but managed to knock the fire down pretty quick," Wacey says, estimating the fire was about an acre in size. "We had it under control in about an hour and 20 minutes."

By 9 p.m., the firefighters' work was done. Luckily, nearby homes were spared damage from the blaze which under different circumstances, Wacey says could easily have been in the line of fire.

"There's always that concern (that it will spread to houses)," Wacey says. "Everything hinges on the wind, it's the crucial factor. That night, the wind had died down."

Usually, Wacey says the department wouldn't respond to a fire on band land. In this case, when the call came in, they weren't sure if it was in Spallumcheen or Okanagan Indian Band territory. But he's not complaining about three fire departments responding to the blaze.

"The more resources you have, the faster you can knock down the fire. You want to go fast and hard; fires always have the potential to get away on you," he says.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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