Update: July 31, 12:20 p.m.
RCMP are investigating the Knox Mountain fire as being human-caused.
The Kelowna RCMP are continuing their investigation into the fire and say initial reports were that the fire was intentionally set and an unknown person was observed walking away from the scene.
As Kelowna Fire Dept worked on containing the fire that broke out just after 2 p.m. Sunday, RCMP officers set up a perimeter in the area in efforts to identify as many people in the area as possible.
“Although no structures were damaged as a result of the fire, it certainly posed an immediate risk to area residents,” stated RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk. “The immediate response from Kelowna Fire Dept, BC Wildfire Services and the Kelowna RCMP mitigated the possibilities of the fire spreading and the endangerment of the residences in the area. A variety of descriptions of possible suspects were given to police, and this time the investigation is ongoing.”
The Kelowna RCMP asks that anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762 3300 or via Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The fire has been put out and a four person fire crew from Kelowna Fire Department remained on the scene through the night.
Update: July 31, 11:40 a.m.
Fire officials have taken members of the media up to view the location of the Knox Moutnain fire.
The fire, which peaked at 0.7 of a hectare near Magic Estates, is completely out after it was actioned by the B.C. Wilfire Service as well as the Kelowna Fire Department on Sunday afternoon.
Capital News reporter Alistair Waters says the fire is all mopped up and the overnight crew is gone.
The investigation into the cause of the fire remains ongoing and there has been no official word from either the RCMP or the fire department as to the cause.
There were reports that some fires had been deliberately set in the area Sunday afternoon.
The Capital News has calls in to both RCMP and fire and will update the investigation as soon as there is official word.
Update: July 30 – 7 p.m.
According to BC Wildfire Services, the fire is being held at 0.7 hectares. At its peak, three helicopters, 17 air tankers and 18 BCWS personnel attended the fire.
Update: 6:30 p.m.
The Knox Mountain fire is under control. Firefighters will remain on scene throughout the night. The firefighters have the fire zone guarded with a trench around the perimeter.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
There is speculation the fire was deliberately set as a witness told Capital News there was a suspect lighting fires in the area Sunday afternoon.
Update: 4:42 p.m.
Fire fighters, along with air support targeted the fire at Knox Mountain, near Magic Estates Sunday afternoon
“It started our pretty thick they dropped a lot retardant and them smoke seemed to subdue,” said Capital News photographer Douglas Farrow at the scene.
Official Release from Kelowna Fire Department:
Kelowna Fire Dept. and BC Forest Service is on scene on Knox Mtn for a brush fire originating above the second look out. KFD has 18 members supported by an initial attack crew of three members from BCFS on a .75 hectare fire. Air support was called in early with two helicopters and two small 802 air tractors.
No residents are at threat at this time as ground crews are working to get a guard built around the fire and helicopter drops will continue throughout the afternoon.
Update: 3: 10 p.m.
A Capital News reporter at the fire on Knox Mountain says it doesn’t appear that there are any structures being threatened in the area, as it seems to be well above nearby homes, and helicopters bucketing water are making an impact.
The amount of smoke coming from the hillside has started to wane and in the last 10 minutes, planes have also entered the fire fight and are dumping retardant around the fire.
Original story: 2: 40 p.m.
Air support crews are working to douse a fire at Knox Mountain and the community is being asked by B.C. Emergency Information services to not call 911 to report smoke sightings as it’s being dealt with.
It’s unclear how significant the fire is at this point, but smoke can be seen rising from the park at points around the city.
“It’s still developing, but what I can tell you is we are assisting the Kelowna Fire Department. It is within their jurisdiction,” said Jody Lucius a BC Wildfire Information Officer. “There are two helicopters, one three person ground crew and air tankers being deployed.”
An estimated 15 engines from the Kelowna Fire Department have made it to the area to fight the fire.