August 22, 2016 - 2:28 PM
OKANAGAN FALLS - An Okanagan Falls resident says campers were fleeing in chaos after a fire started near the community last night.
The wildfire began near the Okanagan Falls Provincial Park campground on Green Lake Road last night, Aug. 21.
Clair Allen with B.C. Wildfire says blaze is just over 16 hectares in size and is 75 per cent contained, with 25 firefighters currently building guard around the north end of the fire. The fire has not threatened any structures so far. It's burning across the river from Okanagan Falls. Winds were calm this morning but are expected to pick up this afternoon.
Maria Morton witnessed the fire from the outset.
"I saw a flash from outside my window and within seconds it grew from a small patch of fire to covering the hillside," she says.
Morton says she originally thought the flash was lightning but has since heard last night's high winds may have knocked down a power line which sparked the blaze.
She heard shouts from the campground nearby and lots of commotion as people fled from the area, including people leaving on foot.
"I've never seen anything like this in my life. I've seen forest fires before but to see this from the beginning and realize how fast they spread is overwhelming," she says.
— This story was updated at 8:15 a.m., Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 to provide new information from the B.C. Wildfire Service.
— This story was updated again at 2 p.m., Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 with new new information from B.C. Wildfire and comments from a resident.
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