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UPDATE: Investigation underway into cause of wildfire south of Penticton

A B.C. Wildfire air tanker drops a load of retardant on the brush fire on a steep hillside in the Kaleden area, Friday, June 17, 2016.
Image Credit: Skylar Noe-Vack
June 18, 2016 - 11:17 AM

KALEDEN – It was a tough fight for the members of the Kaleden Fire Department as they battled a wildfire on a steep hillside yesterday afternoon.

Fire chief Darlene Bailey says they were called at about 2:45 p.m., June 17, to the fire just west of the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 3A.

Bailey says the one-hectare fire was burning in a mix of grass and brush in an old junkyard on a steep slope above the road.

Because there were old tires, metal and other hazardous materials, firefighters had to use breathing apparatus because of the toxic smoke, she says.

It took volunteer firefighters from Kaleden and a B.C. Wildfire initial attack team about six hours to get the blaze under control, even with help from an air tanker that dropped half a dozen loads of fire retardant.

Crews are patrolling the area today, June 18, to make sure all the hot spots are out, she says.

No word yet on what sparked the blaze, which is under investigation. There were no lighting strikes in the area.

A brush fire in an old junkyard on a hill near Kaleden took about six hours to extinguish, Friday, June 18, 2016.
A brush fire in an old junkyard on a hill near Kaleden took about six hours to extinguish, Friday, June 18, 2016.
Image Credit: Skylar Noe-Vack

— This story was updated at 11:09 a.m., Saturday, June 18, 2016 with information from fire chief Darlene Bailey.

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