Vernon North Okanagan RCMP investigated a suspicious grass fire near Vernon’s Department of National Defence army camp Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Black Press file photo)

‘Terrifying’ fire sparked in Vernon’s East Hill

Residents actioned blaze with hoses before firefighters arrived

A small fire sparked additional fear into East Hill residents Tuesday night, following the dangerously close Becker Lake blaze.

Neighbours rallied to put out a grass fire in the 1500-block of 38th Avenue (near Silver Star Elementary) at approximately 10:30 p.m. July 13.

One area resident believes the blaze was human-caused.

“The homeowners heard people walking and laughing… seconds later they saw the flames,” the anonymous person told Dawn Tucker, administrator of the Vernon and Area Community Forum on Facebook. “All the dry grasses and shrubs were on fire. Ten feet high. Neighbours went out with hoses until the FD (fire department) got here.

“This was instant and huge and terrifying.”

When Vernon firefighters got to the blaze, it was approximately four by 15 feet in size.

“Residents in the area had already extinguished most of the fire with garden hoses and then firefighters doused the rest of the area to confirm the fire was out,” Vernon’s communications manager Christy Poirier said. “The city is grateful that all residents are safe and sound and Vernon Fire Rescue Services thanks the residents for paying keen attention to activity in their neighbourhood so action could be taken quickly.”

RCMP also attended the blaze. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

“Residents and visitors are reminded to be extremely cautious as the hot and dry weather conditions continue and the fire risk remains listed as extreme,” Poirier said.

Anyone looking for information on how to be better prepared to respond to an emergency (such as a fire), and want to know how to build a 72-hour kit or Grab and Go bag, can visit www.preparedbc.ca.

READ MORE: No growth Tuesday on Becker Lake fire in Vernon

READ MORE: Fifth body found in Kelowna crane collapse, investigations continue


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