Crews fully contain Joe Rich brush fire

It took just over an hour-and-a-half for crews to fully contain a brush fire in Joe Rich Friday afternoon.

Crews drop fire retardant on the Joe Rich brush fire just north of Highway 33 near Pyman Road Friday afternoon.

It took just over an hour-and-a-half for crews to fully contain a brush fire in Joe Rich Friday afternoon.

At its peak the fire grew to nearly 20 hectares.

The blaze began around 3 p.m. Friday and grew quickly. Forestry fire crews were joined by crews from Ellison, Kelowna and Joe Rich Fire Departments.

By 4:40 p.m. the brush fire was 100 per cent contained and firefighters began mop up work.

“Luckily crews arrived very quickly and went to work along with Forestry. They did a great job,” said platoon captain Kelly Stephens of the Kelowna Fire Department.

Stephens, who was in charge of the fire’s command centre, said lots of personnel were brought in to deal with the brush fire before the wind could spread it too far.

“We hit it as hard as we could, knowing what we had with this wind and the problems it could’ve caused.”

According to Stephens the cause of the fire, and where it started, are unknown at this time.

Robert Rickard lives about six kilometres away from where the fire burned Friday afternoon. He nervously watched from the side of Highway 33 as firefighters battled the flames.

“We’ve always been waiting for this day and wondering when it was going to happen,” said Rickard.

Cyrous Sharifpour works at Pyman Road gravel pit. He said he saw the smoke from Kelowna and immediately came to warn his co-workers.

“It’s really high over there, I thought maybe they (wouldn’t) realize there was smoke. I called my boss and said I could see the smoke,” said Sharifpour.

Sharifpour drove to the gravel pit and told the workers to move equipment such as propane tanks to the middle of the pit.

“When I came back I was in shock about how much had burned.”

Several cars were pulled over on the side of Highway 33 to watch firefighters douse the brush fire.

“We were coming home from picking the kids up from school and we saw a great big plume of smoke over the hill,” said Kim Priebe.

“It’s been neat just talking with the kids about being responsible when you’re out in the bush. It may not be your land, but it’s someone else’s, and you never know what nature is going to do.”

Although the fire was 100 per cent contained at 4:45 p.m. Friday, Fred Felty wasn’t taking any chances.

He helped soak down the perimeter of his friend’s property, which was metres away from the fire on the south side of Highway 33.

“I think it’s kind of a necessity when there’s a fire across the way—the wind can change at any point,” said Felty.

Just Posted

Okanagan’s oldest mayor shows no sign of slowing down

Mayor James Baker has decades of history in his political career

The hunt is on: Lake Country egg hunt kicks off Easter weekend

It’s the biggest Easter egg hunt in Lake Country

Rollover in West Kelowna

An SUV rollover was reported just after 8:30 a.m. on Boucherie Road.… Continue reading

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Annual Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup returns easter weekend

The goal of the Vernon-based event is to revitalize the game and the tradition of an all-native hockey tournament in the Interior.

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Shuswap dancer stays across street from Penticton shooting day after Salmon Arm tragedy

Dancers come for festival, put in lockdown in rec centre, watch police response from Airbnb window

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Vernon-raised BC Was Awesome producer returns home for filming of episode

The topic of this Vernon-featured episode has not yet been revealed.

COLUMN: Bunnies, sexuality and the freedom to read

A book about a gay bunny has been the subject of challenges

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Vernon choir marks 40 years of making music

Order of Canada recipient directs finale

Most Read