Kamloops woman tried to put out Monte Lake fire with water bottles | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops woman tried to put out Monte Lake fire with water bottles

Twitter user Renaissance Farm captured this photo of the fire near Monte Lake on July 26.
Image Credit: TWITTER/ @SbredsFarm
July 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM

MONTE LAKE - Darcy Galbraith, her two young children and her mother were travelling from Vernon back to Kamloops yesterday afternoon when they saw the first signs of a growing wildfire on the side of Highway 97 near Monte Lake.

"We had just come around the corner and saw a puff of smoke and we got closer and saw a bit of flames," Galbraith says.

She estimates the fire then was 10-feet by 10-feet and decided to pull over and try to snuff the flames out before things got bad.

"We pulled over, my mom and I got out of our van, we grabbed all our water that we had in the van and ran over and tried to put out what we could reach," she says. "Then the wind picked up and it just took off."

Galbraith says people started pulling over quickly after her, but many took out their phones to take pictures. She went back to her vehicle to grab her phone and call the B.C. Wildfire line.

"I waited on hold for a minute and seven seconds and it felt like a lifetime," she says. "I hung up and called 911 and got to the fire department and told them."

But Galbraith and her family had to get out of there quickly. The fire was moving quickly and growing at an alarming rate, heading toward their vehicle. It's now estimated to be approximately 150 hectares.

"We started flashing (our lights) to all the vehicles that were coming to try and warn them that it was right on the side of the road," she says. "It was a crazy experience."

Galbraith says she would have done more to try and extinguish the fire, if it weren't for her choice of apparel yesterday, July 26.

"We tried," she says. "If I wasn’t in flip flops I probably would have stomped out what I could have, too."

The Martin Mountain Fire is estimated at 150 hectares as of the last update from B.C. Wildfire. Ground crews and aircraft have been tackling the blaze which quickly grew from nothing, to 30 hectares, to 60 hectares, to finally 100 hectares in a matter of hours and 150 hectares by morning.

Dozens of properties in the Monte Lake area have been evacuated.

For immediate updates on evacuation orders and alerts, go here or follow @TNRD on Twitter.

For road closures and available detours, go here or follow @DriveBC on Twitter.

For the latest information on fire activity and size, go here or follow @BCGovFireInfo on Twitter.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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