12 pm update: Pete McIntyre
RCMP and the BC Wildfire Service are investigating the cause of Tuesday’s small fire in the BX.
Less than half a hectare (0.2) burned in the blaze that started on private land off Dixon Dam Road near Tillicum Road.
BX Swan Lake assistant fire chief Steve Hidasi says he’s finished his part of the probe, with it leaning towards human caused.
“We don’t believe at this time it was natural causes because we don’t have any evidence to that effect: lightning, a lightning-struck tree. We don’t have those things.”
Hidasi says the nearest homes were just 200 metres away, but were never threatened.
He says he arranged for BC Wildfire Service support before arriving at the scene.
“If it had been a little hotter and windy, people’s lives and property wouldn’t have been at risk, but we definitely would have had a larger issue.”
Hidasi says helicopters were used to douse the fire with water, and fixed wing aircraft were on standby had it spread.
“We were prepared for that. We called and had aircraft prepared to leave from Kamloops immediately if it had become more vigorous.”
The investigation is underway into that fire in the BX late yesterday afternoon and into the evening.
The fire broke out on Dixon dam Road near Tillicum just after 4 pm Tuesday.
BX-Swan Lake Fire Chief Bill Wacey tells Kiss-FM that the overnight fire watch was good.
“Nothing showed up. No hot spots. We have a fire cause determination inspector coming in from BC Wildfire Service along with our own investigation this morning. We’re going to go through the area to see what we can find.”
Chief Wacey says the fire could have been worse had it not been for a neighbour.
“They had a tractor unit with a tank of water on it. They smashed through a gate where the fire was
and managed to knock it down so we could get there.”
The fire is considered suspicious, but Wacey says it’s not known yet how it started.
“We’re doing the investigation on it. Everything is always considered until you come up with a determination, but we are going through that with the RCMP.”
As investigators go through the area this morning, you may see some smoke, but it’s not the fire flaring up again..
It’s what they call cold-trailing, stirring up the ground to ensure there are no embers and look for traces of the fire cause.