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Intense wildfire west of Kamloops contained

Highway 1 in Cherry Creek was closed for a short period of time yesterday, July 5, while crews attacked the blaze that sparked after a car crash.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Susanne De Montreuil
July 06, 2017 - 9:12 AM

KAMLOOPS – Firefighters have managed to contain a small but intense wildfire that has destroyed a business just west of Kamloops.

A car crash led to a 15 hectare wildfire that destroyed a business in the small community of Cherry Creek west of Kamloops yesterday, July 5.

B.C. Wildfire crews hit the fire in large numbers with 47 firefighters, a helicopter and 11 planes responding to the blaze. Fire information officer Max Birkner says 26 firefighters stayed on scene overnight to keep the flames from spreading beyond 15 hectares, and work continues to completely douse the blaze. Today the fire is a rank one smouldering ground fire and there are 13 firefighters on site. 

A helicopter drops water on the Cherry Creek wildfire.
A helicopter drops water on the Cherry Creek wildfire.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Susanne De Montreuil

It briefly closed Highway 1 about 20 kilometres west of Kamloops, and Cherry Creek resident Kelly Sens says it destroyed his woodworking shop and smoke damaged his home, but he says his family and animals are safe.

Cherry Creek resident Susanne De Montreuil watched the chaos from the beginning. De Montreuil witnessed the car crash off of Highway 1 and called 911.

"While I was on the phone I could see the fire just taking off," De Montreuil says. "It's very unsettling how a car crash can cause a big fire like that."

"I was quite worried about the houses and animals. But I felt a great sense of relief when I saw the spotter plane and the plane with the fire retardant," De Montreuil says.

Highway 1 was closed yesterday, July 5, while crews attacked the blaze. No evacuation orders or alerts were issued, but some residents chose to pack up and move across the road as a precaution, Birkner says.

"It was commendable, quick action on their part," he says. 

Meanwhile, Southern Okanagan wildfire crews have been busy.

Crews in Kaleden, just south of Penticton, have contained a 6.5 hectare blaze that burned one house and put 18 other houses on evacuation order.

Officials are still investigating but say the Kaleden fire, that started on Tuesday, July 4, was most likely human caused.

— With files from Canadian Press

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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