Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP are looking into three suspicious grassland fires an hour apart Monday evening, Aug. 28.
The BX Swan Lake Fire Rescue Department was called to a fire off Hartnell Road in the BX shortly before 6 p.m.
“We responded to a routine smoke in the area around Lynx Road. When we got to the end, we were met by the homeowners who confirmed a fire past the gate,” said Capt. Braydon Jones of the BX Swan Lake department.
The fire was in an area unclear as to whether the local department or forestry crews had jurisdiction.
“We made entry through the gate and we discovered about a 25-by-30 fire on the ground that some homeowners were already actioning. Once forestry was there, we performed some mop-up.”
While this was happening, Jones got word of a second suspicious fire back down on Hartnell Road.
“It was a small fire that was just off the pavement but some homeowners were able to put it out with a bottle of water,” he said.
Late Monday afternoon, the Coldstream Fire Department responded to a suspicious fire on the King Edward Lake Forest Service Road.
“The fire is out,” said Chief Fiona Morgenthaler-Code. “BC Wildfire Service did have a helicopter and bucket overhead but they did not use water. We poured 800 gallons of water on it and extinguished it. BCWS did attend but turned things over to us.”
“All three fires are considered suspicious and we are somewhat worried at this time,” said Jones about the possibility of individuals starting fires on purpose.