Grass fire near Penticton airport spreads up ridge, stopped by rock face

Firefighters today worked to put out a grass fire near the airport. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)Firefighters today worked to put out a grass fire near the airport. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
Fire crews on scene at a grass fire on Old Airport Road. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)Fire crews on scene at a grass fire on Old Airport Road. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
The approx. location of the fire. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)The approx. location of the fire. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
The grass fire on Old Airport Road came to a halt at about 3:15 p.m., thanks to suppression by crews on scene, as well as a rock face. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)The grass fire on Old Airport Road came to a halt at about 3:15 p.m., thanks to suppression by crews on scene, as well as a rock face. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
The grass fire on Old Airport Road came to a halt at about 3:15 p.m., thanks to suppression by crews on scene, as well as a rock face. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)The grass fire on Old Airport Road came to a halt at about 3:15 p.m., thanks to suppression by crews on scene, as well as a rock face. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

A grass fire today on Old Airport Road in Penticton spread one hectare before coming to a halt.

Early Sunday afternoon fire crews received numerous calls of a grass fire near the Penticton Airport, and responded in full force.

Some crews were stationed at the base of the mountain face, while others were on top in case the fire spread up and over the ridge.

Penticton Fire Department Captain Ray Simpson said shortly after arriving on scene the southbound wind, “wasn’t helping one bit” which was clocked at approximately 33 km/hr.

Fire crews from Penticton Fire Department and Penticton Indian Band Fire Department worked to contain the blaze and set up a perimeter. Some scattered along the ridge to wet-guard the area and ensure it didn’t come up and over. Others used tools and hoses to expose and suppress hot coals.

By 3:15 p.m. the wind had died down, the fire had stopped short of a rock face and crews were starting to leave the scene.

“It’s a good thing that rock face is there, that’s what it ran into,” said Penticton Fire Department Captain Ray Simpson.

Several stumps were still smoking but the captain reassured that crews had wet-guarded the top of the ridge to deter the fire from spreading further.

(The approx. location of the fire)

(Phil McLachlan – Western News)

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