UPDATE: Wildfire at Cooney Bay near Kamloops is out

Smoke from a wildfire at Cooney Bay on Kamloops Lake can be seen in this photo from Twitter, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
Image Credit: Twitter/David Poulin

KAMLOOPS – It took fire crews over nine hours to extinguish a human-caused wildfire burning near Cooney Bay on Kamloops Lake west of the city yesterday.

A plume of smoke could be seen rising from the area as ten firefighters from Kamloops Fire Rescue and a crew of 3 from B.C. Wildfire worked to put out the football field-size blaze.

Fire crews responded at about 2:10 p.m., Sept. 5, and didn’t the have the fire out until 11:30 p.m.

Assistant fire chief Dave McMahon says the fire was burning deep in the ground, which made for a difficult battle.

Mother Nature didn’t play a role in starting this fire, referring to the lack of lightning in the area recently, he says.

“We are guessing it was an unattended campfire,” McMahon says. “People shouldn’t be having campfires anyway, but whoever did, didn’t extinguish it correctly and it got away. It’s disappointing.”

A crew is back on the scene this morning looking for hot spots and making sure the fire is completely out.

“You have to dig down and get this stuff out because it can smoulder under ground for weeks if you don’t,” McMahon says.

Even with the cooler temperatures at night the fire danger rating is still high in the South Thompson.

“It won’t be until the weather changes into proper winter will we be out of the woods."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 7:49 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 to correct the name of the responding fire department.

— This story was updated at 9:37 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 to add more information.

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