Fire causes tense moments for residents

Fire causes tense moments for residents

A helicopter drops a load of water on a hot spot behind Country Pines Mobile Home Park. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)

By Lyonel Doherty

Country Pines residents watch falling embers burn dry grass behind their homes this afternoon. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)

Falling fire debris is causing some tense moments for campers and residents of Country Pines Mobile Home Park this afternoon.

Oliver Fire Department was called out to a report of spot fires burning metres away from some mobile homes.

Upon arrival, burning embers could be seen falling from above Gallagher Lake and starting small fires in the dry grass.

A BC forestry helicopter made a couple of passes, dropping water on the hot spots. Meanwhile, Oliver firefighters were stationed on a dirt road near a section of irrigation canal where fire was burning very close.

Fire Chief Bob Graham requested that a truck from the Osoyoos Fire Department stand by at the Oliver fire hall in case it is needed.

A lot of smoke can be seen in Senkulmen Business Park where forestry crews have been conducting hand ignition burns just south of the lake. The purpose is to remove combustible fuels between the community and the fire perimeter.

The fire is estimated at 900 hectares and appears to be spreading east into the mountains.

It is still uncertain how the fire started, but BC Wildfire Service suspects it may have been human caused.