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Cigarette suspected cause of Vernon fire

Fire crews douse grass fire at the intersection of Highway 6 and 27th Street

UPDATE Tuesday, June 25:

A smoker is suspected to have caused a fast-moving fire that spread close to some homes Monday afternoon.

The grass fire was sparked on 27th Street near Highway 6 at approximately 4:30 p.m. June 24. 

"Two passers-by saw the smoke and attempted to control the flames prior to the emergency crew’s arrival in order to limit the spread," according to Cpl. Tania Finn, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer.

With the blaze quickly spreading up the embankment, nearby homes were threatened. But Vernon Fire Rescue crews were able to control the blaze and stop it from spreading to the structures.

"The fire investigator was unable to determine a cause of the fire; however, suspected a discarded cigarette may have been responsible," said Finn.

Under Section 3(1) of the BC Wildlife Act, it is an offence to drop, release or mishandle a burning substance and violators may be charged a $575 fine. 

No suspects or suspect vehicles were identified.

UPDATE: Monday, June 24, 5:53 p.m.:

At approximately 4:20 p.m. Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) received a report of a grass fire near the intersection of Highway 6 and 27th Street.

When VFRS arrived, they confirmed a fast-moving grass fire was spreading upslope towards a structure.

Firefighters quickly got on the fire and stopped it before it reached some bushes adjacent to the structure.

“Even though we have seen rain, conditions remain incredibly dry throughout the North Okanagan,” said Deputy Chief Alan Hofsink. “This event is a reminder of how quickly a grass fire can spread. We are asking everyone to remain cautious and vigilant.”

The cause of the fire is undetermined and no injuries were reported.

Crews will be on scene for another few hours.


Fire crews are on-scene of a grass fire at the intersection of Highway 6 and 27th Street in Vernon.

The fire broke out at around 4:30 p.m. and was said to be getting close to a nearby structure. The fire is, as of 4:50 p.m., under control.

Dispatch has received multiple calls about the fire, and are saying that flames and white smoke are visible.

Motorists are asked to try and avoid the area if possible as there is already a traffic snarl on Highway 6.

Three fire trucks are on-scene  and the RCMP has the 27th Street extension blocked off at both ends.


Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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