Summerland firefighters found themselves battling a blaze at the Summerland landfill that sent a tower of black smoke above the community Wednesday morning. Steve Kidd/Black Press

UPDATE: Summerland landfill fire contained

The fire at the Summerland landfill is under control and the facility is open, with restrictions

Update: 2:30 p.m.

The fire that broke out at the Summerland landfill is under control and the municipality says the facility is open to the public again, though with restricted access to some areas.

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Update: 1 p.m.

The District of Summerland Facebook page says the fire at the municipal landfill has been fully contained, but officials are asking residents to continue to steer clear of the area.

That’s so fire crews can continue to knock the blaze down, with the Summerland Fire Department, Summerland Works and Utilities and the B.C. Wildfire Service all working on the blaze.

A cause of the fire still has not been determined.

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Update: 12:09 p.m.

District of Summerland chief administrative officer Linda Tynan says crews managed to get to work on a landfill fire in the area quite quickly, mitigating major risks.

“Landfill fires can be pretty dangerous; I don’t think this one was ever out of control,” Tynan said. “They got a handle on it very quickly, but it’s, as you can see, it’s been quite a worry for that reason.”

Tynan said the district and landfill staff try to keep a close eye on what is going into the landfill to hold it as a safe environment.

“We’re not even speculating cause at this point in time,” Tynan said. “Just because it’s in the demolition pile, there’s a chance that it is a chemical fire, related to some of the materials, but that will certainly be looked at.”

But Tynan had some praise for the timely response from the Summerland Fire Department.

“Our fire department got onto it extremely quickly, and I think that’s one reason it’s not out of control,” Tynan said. “We got onto it, and the ministry also responded very, very quickly, so it wasn’t burning very long before it was actively fought.”

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Update: 11:33 a.m.

District of Summerland chief administrative officer Linda Tynan has confirmed that the Summerland landfill has a no-smokers policy, so the fire was likely not started from a cigarette.

The fire has significantly reduced in size over the past hour, down to about a third of its original size.

According to the district’s Facebook page, the fire is burning in the demolition pile, and the Summerland Fire Department is actively fighting the fire alongside assistance from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Fire crews don’t expect the fire to spread beyond the boundaries of the landfill.

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UPDATE: 11:13 a.m.

An employee, who has asked to remain anonymous, said nobody who works at the Summerland landfill smokes, and a cause of the fire isn’t currently known.

The fire was called in by employees at around 9:30 a.m.

Water is coming from a nearby reservoir, according to the landfill employee.

The Penticton Fire Department has been called to Summerland to help out with regular duties at the fire hall, as the B.C. Wildfire Service and the Summerland Fire Department battle the blaze.

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Update: 10:49 a.m.

A Western News reporter on scene says it’s hard to estimate the size of the fires at this time, but it appears to be about 200-300 feet by 100-150 feet.

It appears there is a second fire burning about 50 feet down the hill from the main fire, though it’s hard to tell at this point whether or not the fire is an extension of the initial blaze.

The B.C. Wildfire Service is attacking the fire with a helicopter from above.

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Original

Firefighters are on scene at the Summerland landfill, where a large blaze has ignited.

Crews responded to the fire at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, and are reportedly receiving help from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Few details are currently available, but the Western News has a reporter on scene.

More to come.

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