Update: Crews mopping up fire in Lake Country

Update: Before 7 p.m. the fire was in the mop up stage

Update 8:05 p.m.

Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor says there are conflicting eye witness accounts on how a grass fire was ignited along Highway 97 this evening.

The fire broke out on the east side of the highway near Lodge Road, an initial grass fire that was whipped up quickly by gusting winds and potentially threatened nearby homes.

The fire department, with the assistance of BC Wildfire crews, were able to contain the blaze, limiting the damage to a shed structure that was destroyed.

Windsor said while social media speculation has pointed to the cause being a discarded cigarette butt, Windsor said that was premature speculation.

“We are unsure of the cause right now. We have witness accounts from when it started but it’s conflicting information,” Windsor said.

He said momentum from the wind raised initial concern about houses being in the direction the fire was headed, but the damage was ultimately limited to the shed and some trees.

More to come.

Video: Douglas Farrow

Update 6:50 p.m.

Firefighters are in the mop up stage of the grass fire that started on Highway 97, near Lodge Road, in Lake Country.

BC Wildfire did go to assist the Lake Country fire department, with multiple helicopters bucketing the blaze from above, but by 7 p.m. they had turned it back over to local crews.

“They have a good handle on it,” said Rachel Witt, fire information officer with BC Wildfire. “The helicopters are no longer needed and all but one crew member has left.”

According to a reporter on scene, the fire started quickly and was fanned by flames. Only a shed was damaged and the cause is yet unknown.

The last estimate of the size of the blaze was 0.6 hectares.

More to come.

Original Story, 5:30 p.m.

Emergency crews are dealing with a quickly growing grass fire in Lake Country.

BC Wildfire has gone to assist the Lake Country Fire Department with the blaze that’s on Highway 97, near Lodge Road, and are already working to douse flames from above. No word yet on how large the fire is, or what structures are threatened.

According to an employee at the Husky gas station on Highway 97, however, the flames are no more than eight feet away from the highway and the store is shutting down for the sake of safety.

“It’s too scary,” she said.

The nearby Vet clinic, Tri Lake Animal Hospital has also evacuated all pets and staff.

Motorists are being advised to stay away from the scene as it’s hampering efforts.

The Capital News has a reporter on scene. More information to come.