Wildfire scorches canyon east of Kamloops
A 17-person firefighting crew will spend the night at a smoldering blaze just outside Kamloops city limits.
Crews were called into action just before 5 p.m. today (Aug. 31), after a lightning strike sparked a dry canyon just south of Durango Drive, between Lafarge Road and Hook Road.
The blaze eventually grew to about five hectares and was fought by a 12-person ground crew and two air tankers.
Fire information officer Kayla Pepper said crews were lucky the weather co-operated.
"The winds were certainly favourable for us," she said.
"We were lucky on that front."
At one point, the blaze was a Rank 3 fire — meaning trees were going up in flames. However, it has since been downgraded and, by 8 p.m., was mostly smoldering with patches of open flame.
At one point, the blaze was within about 100 metres of homes on the south side of the 500-block of Durango Drive.
Salmon Arm resident Bev Chartier said she saw lightning strike the area as she and her husband were driving home from Vancouver.
"It was huge, just a huge bolt of lightning," she said.
"By the time we got to Valleyview, we could see the smoke."
Pepper said a 17-person unit from Vernon is being brought in to spend the night on-scene, building hand guards around the perimeter of the fire.
She said she expects it to be fully contained by tomorrow afternoon.