Photo: Andy King
A grass fire was sparked behind Chasers Bottle Depot in Vernon Sunday.
UPDATE: 2:25 p.m.
Vernon Fire Rescue’s deputy fire chief says a grass fire that was sparked on 48th Avenue on Sunday was human-caused, but not criminal in nature.
According to a statement from the City of Vernon, the fire happened at about 11:40 a.m. in the 3100 block of 48th Avenue, near Chasers Bottle Depot in a grassy area along the railway tracks.
The city said when crews arrived, the fire was about 50 feet by 50 feet. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze quickly using equipment from the department’s wildland truck and two engines.
Alan Hofsink, deputy fire chief, said the fire was determined to be caused by a person, but did not appear to be criminal in nature.
“We can confirm there was no train in the area when the fire happened near the rail line,” Hofsink said.
“Thanks to the diligent and precise actions of our well-trained crews, these fires were attacked and extinguished quickly, preventing them from spreading and potentially causing much greater damage.”
According to Andy King, who witnessed the fire, the flames were burning the grass around what appeared to be an encampment.
King said before firefighters arrived, one man attempted to douse the fire with a water bottle, but the fire was quickly spreading along the nearby railroad tracks.
The City of Vernon said the 48th avenue grass fire was the second of two blazes extinguished by Vernon Fire Rescue Services in a 24-hour period.
According to the city, firefighters responded to a wildland fire at the base of Turtle Mountain, along Alexis Park Drive, at about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The city said the 30 foot by 30 foot fire was extinguished quickly, and no structures were risk.
Hofsink said the second fire was also determined to be human-caused, and didn’t appear to be criminal in nature.
He said as the region heads into a period of hot and dry weather, it’s important residents remain vigilant.
“It’s critical that everyone is aware of their surroundings, careful about the activities they’re doing outside, and that they report fire or smoke to 911 immediately, if they see it,” Hofsink said.
“We need to work together to keep our community safe from fire hazards all year long, but we must be even more cautious during these hot Okanagan summers.”
ORIGINAL: 1:00 p.m.
Fire crews in Vernon extinguished a grass fire near the Chasers Bottle Depot Sunday afternoon.
Andy King was driving past the area near 31 Street and 48 Avenue around noon when he noticed smoke. When he took a closer look, he found flames burning the grass around what appeared to be some kind of encampment.
King says one man unsuccessfully attempted to douse the fire with a water bottle, and the fire quickly spread along the nearby railroad tracks.
But firefighters with Vernon Fire Rescue arrived at the scene and got the blaze under control, before it spread to any buildings.
Photo: Andy King
The fire spread along the railroad tracks.