British Columbia

Car crash blamed for Cherry Creek wildfire west of Kamloops

Firefighters believe a car crash on Highway 1 sparked an intense wildfire that quickly spread near Cherry Creek B.C. on Wednesday, destroying a woodworking shop and damaging a home.

Crew of 47 responded to blaze with help from helicopter, 11 planes

The B.C. Wildfire Service fights a wildfire near Cherry Creek from the air. (Susanne De Montreuil/Facebook)

Firefighters believe a car crash on Highway 1 sparked an intense wildfire that quickly spread near Cherry Creek B.C. on Wednesday, destroying a woodworking shop and damaging a home.

The 15-hectare blaze had been contained by Thursday morning, and the burned area was blackened and smouldering, according to Max Birkner of the B.C. Wildfire Service.

"One of the important things to take away is just how quickly fire can spread. This thing became 15 hectares extremely quickly," Birkner said.

"With that wind out there and the dry fuels, we're asking people to continue to remain vigilant at all times."

Cherry Creek resident Kelly Sens said the fire destroyed his woodworking shop and smoke damaged his home, but his family and animals are safe. A vehicle was also damaged in the blaze, according to Birkner.

A fire that damaged an outbuilding near Cherry Creek, B.C. is suspected to have started with a vehicle. (Susanne De Montreuil/Facebook)

Forty-seven firefighters, 11 planes and a helicopter responded to the wildfire when it broke out on Wednesday. Twenty-six firefighters stayed on the scene overnight to prevent the flames from spreading, and 13 were still mopping up Thursday morning.

The fire briefly closed Highway 1 about 20 kilometres west of Kamloops.

In the south Okanagan community of Kaleden, just south of Penticton, an evacuation alert remained in effect but evacuation orders had been lifted for 18 homes as crews contained a 6.5-hectare blaze that burned one home and several outbuildings.

A cause of the Kaleden fire is under investigation, but there was no lightning in the area when it was sparked Tuesday night, so fire officials say it was likely human-caused.

With files from The Canadian Press

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