Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)

Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

  • Feb. 27, 2021 4:03 p.m.

-Kamloops This Week

A fire in a scrap metal pile at the Mission Flats landfill is proving difficult to douse, though the blaze has been contained to that pile.

More worrisome is the fact the thick, black smoke billowing from the pile and spreading eastward has been described as toxic by Kamloops Fire Rescue, with residents downwind of the smoke advised to stay inside.

“Slow progress is being made on the fire,” Kamloops Fire Rescue said on its Twitter account at 11:25 a.m. “This type of fire requires a high volume of water to fight with. “Unfortunately, water supplies are limited, there are no hydrants close to the fire, so all water must be shuttled in with our water tender trucks.”

As of 10:45 a.m., fire crews were bringing water to the fire from hydrants near the Domtar pulp mill, just east of the landfill.

Read More: Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

Read More: Collaboration on Shuswap highway project receives national award

The initial response to the blaze included nine members of Kamloops Fire Rescue, along with three apparatus.

The blaze is stubborn, with plenty of items to fuel it, leading to continued clouds of thick, black smoke to be emitted into the air. There are many items burning, including old appliances.

The smoke was first seen rising above the landfill on the south side of the Thompson River, across from Kamloops Airport, at about 8:30 a.m.

Jen Fretz, the City of Kamloops’ operations director, told KTW the blaze started in a metal scrap pile at the dump, noting the landfill is closed to the public until fire crews are finished dousing the flames.

Read More: 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Read More: A timeline of events in British Columbia’s Site C dam project

There have been no injuries reported and Fretz said the cause of the fire is not yet known.

“Kamloops Fire Rescue will look at that once they are finished dealing with the fire,” she said.

In the meantime, residents who intended to use the landfill on Saturday are advised to go to the landfill in Barnhartvale and to bring cash. That landfill is at 970 Eliza Rd. and is open until 4:30 p.m.

The fire has apparently not impacted air quality generally, as the B.C. Air Quality Index has Kamloops’ data at 3 as of noon on Saturday, which is in the low health risk range. The moderate health risk range is between 4 and 6, with high health risk readings between 7 and 10. The index measures particulate matter in the air.

However, many residents have reported on social media that they are being hit with pungent odours, some describing “burning plastic” and others noting it smells like wires burning.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Fire evacuation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of North Okanagan has purchased a watercraft to be used by the BC Conservation Officer Service, who will conduct enhanced boat patrols on the Shuswap River during the 2021 floating season. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Boat purchased to provide enhanced Shuswap River oversight this floating season

The regional district purchased an extra watercraft to be used by Conservation Officers this year

The West Kelowna Warriors beat the Vernon Vipers 3-2 in BCHL action Friday, April 16, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
West Kelowna goaltender stymies Vernon Vipers for 3-2 win

The Warriors were outshot 44-23 Friday night, but it didn’t bother Johnny Derrick

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Nick Clements captured a photo of the Northern Lights over Oyama Friday night, April 16, 2021. (Nick Clements photo)
PHOTOS: Northern Lights colour Okanagan night

Residents saw the dazzling green aurora borealis throughout the valley Friday night

Vernon's spring leaf pickup program is underway. (File photo)
Vernon rakes up residents’ bagged leaves

Pickup this week, must be in clear plastic bags

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Most Read