Air support drops fire retardant near the Smith Creek wildfire Friday morning.

Air support drops fire retardant near the Smith Creek wildfire Friday morning.

Smith Creek Wildfire: Fire chief, residents watch blaze from Shannon Ridge Park

Shannon Ridge Park offered one of the best vantage points for watching the Smith Creek wildfire Friday morning.

Shannon Ridge Park offered one of the best vantage points for watching the Smith Creek wildfire Friday morning.

West Kelowna Fire Chief Wayne Schnitzler was there with several other emergency officials, keeping an eye on the overall fire activity.

“Once you’re in the bush and you’re fighting that fire, your crews can’t see what’s going on,” said Schnitzler.

“So we’re really the eyes for those groups.”

Schnitzler said the fire moved overnight above the Tallus Ridge subdivision.

The cooler Friday morning temperatures restricted the fire’s activity; however, the wind continued to give firefighters a challenge.

“We were hoping (the wind) wouldn’t come back today. So that’s going to probably dictate the fire behaviour over the afternoon.”

Spot fires came within 100 feet of some homes, according to Schnitzler. Crews were able to quickly knock down the smaller fires before they could come too close to threatening homes.

Crews have also brought in sprinkler protection units from the province to protect areas that may be a problem in the future.

Schnitzler said West Kelowna firefighters are starting to feel the affects of a busy week that’s seen three significant fires in the area.

“Our neighbouring communities started to come in and help and give our crews some time to rest…it’s not often we get three fires like we’ve had this week.”

He added firefighters are still mopping up the Mount Boucherie fire, which began Tuesday.

Emergency crews have had more time to plan during this fire than they did during the 2009 Glenrosa fire.

“In Glenrosa we didn’t have time to plan, we just had to get people out because it was such a wind-driven wildfire.

“This one is wind-driven, but we still have time to strategically plan on moving people, to make the right decisions to keep them safe.”

The fire chief wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the Shannon Ridge Park vantage point Friday.

Several residents stood in the park and watched air support attack the blaze.

A few people even brought lawn chairs out to watch the firefighting effort.

Barry and Darci Yeo, owners of Bliss Bakery and Bistro, visited Shannon Ridge Park Friday to bring coffee, water and snacks to emergency personnel.

“We’ve been here for almost a decade now…our business has been evacuated twice (and) personally we’ve been evacuated as well,” said Barry.

“We have the ability to help these (crews) out a little bit…a lot of (them) were called out at 5 or 6 a.m. and they’ve had nothing to eat.”

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Twitter: @PatersonWade

 

 

 

 

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

Michelle St. Pierre, UBCO’s 2021 graduate student researcher of the year, is hoping to change the discussion surrounding the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. (UBCO photo)
UBCO researcher examining therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs

Michelle St. Pierre has been researching the use of psychedelics since 2015

The community is rallying around Phil Hotzon who needs a new electric tricycle. (Contributed)
Tricycle for Phil: Support pours in for Kelowna man with traumatic brain injury

Phil Hotzon lost his electric tricycle after falling into Mill Creek, fundraiser aims to replace it

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Dogs can understand some English

Your morning start for Wednesday, May 12, 2021

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

A Mountie issued B.C. RCMP’s first ticket for non-essential travel May 1. (Black Press Media files)
Driver ticketed, told to ‘return to Lower Mainland immediately’ by Vancouver Island police

The motorist was originally pulled over for driving-related offences May 1

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children walk back to their classroom while wearing masks and physical distancing at St. Barnabas Catholic School in Scarborough, Ont., in October, 2020. A group of B.C. teachers has issued an open letter calling for the relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions for children in B.C. schools. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Group of B.C. teachers calls for easing of pandemic measures for students

Teacher group says ‘response to COVID is out of balance to the cost our youth are paying’

Adam Hamdan has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorist charges given temporary residence in Canada

Adam Hamdan had been facing deportation to Jordan, where he holds citizenship through his Palestinian parents

Most Read