Update (August 15). . . Firefighters have beaten back a Vernon grass fire.
The Tronson Road Fire is now 100 per cent contained, according to the Ministry of Forests.
by Dave Preston
Firefighters got the upper hand on a grass fire in Vernon that threatened homes.
The Tronson Road Fire is 70 per cent contained and remains at 36.3 hectares (90 acres) in size, according to the Wildfire Protection Branch of the BC Forest Service.
A total of 35 personnel monitored the fire and hot spots overnight, including 15 firefighters from Vernon Fire Rescue Services and 20 forestry firefighters.
Forestry had 40 firefighters and one helicopter on site Wednesday morning.
“The grass fire, which broke out at 3 p.m. (Tuesday) was pushed by erratci winds,” said Courtenay Pitcher, communications officer for the City of Vernon.
“At the height of the event there were 75 personnel fighting the fire including 30 from BC Wildfire Management Branch and 45 career and volunteer firefighters from Vernon Fire Rescue, Okanagan Landing Volunteer Fire Department, BX Swan Lake Fire Department and The Vernon Volunteer Fire Fighter’s Association,” said Pitcher.
Earlier reports indicated the fire was 60 hectares but once the smoke cleared and it was safe to walk the permiter, a GPS assessement showed the fire was 36.3 hectares, according to Pitcher.
The cause of the fire is not known and is under investigation jointly by forestry and the Vernon fire department.
Two homes were evacuated Tuesday afternoon. Pitcher said the fire came within 10 metres of the homes but was stopped by a fire guard. The homes were not damaged.
“The residents who were evacuated have been allowed back in,” said Pitcher. “No roads are closed in the area or to The Rise residents. The Rise Golf Course is open for business as usual.”