Provincial forestry firefighters

Wildfire extinguished

A wildfire which started just west of Summerland on Sunday afternoon was quickly contained and extinguished.

A wildfire which started just west of Summerland on Sunday afternoon was quickly contained and extinguished.

George Pugh of the Summerland Fire Department said the fire was reported, near Bathville Road, on Sunday around 3 p.m.

Four Summerland Fire Department vehicles responded.

The fire reached 0.2 hectares in size.

Firefighters from the provincial Ministry of Forests also attended.

Helicopters were used to drop water on the blaze to control it.

Summerland firefighters were on the scene around an hour and a half before the provincial forestry firefighters took over.

Pugh said conditions in the region remain very dry. Because the weather was calm, the blaze could be controlled.

“Fortunately, there was not much of a wind,” he said. “If there was a breeze, it would have gone off quite rapidly.”

Melissa Welsh, a fire information officer  with the Kamloops Fire Centre, said quick action on the part of firefighters kept the blaze from spreading.

Firefighters from Summerland and the Penticton Indian Band were at the scene, as well as provincial forest fire crews.

The fire is believed to have been caused by lightning.

On Saturday and Sunday, 76 fires within the Kamloops Fire Centre’s area started as a result of lightning strikes.

Welsh said the dry conditions and the summer storm season are both contributing to the fire risk.

So far this year, there have been 341 wildfires in the region, covering 2,041 hectares. Of these, 216 are the result of lighting while 115 have been person-caused fires.

At the same time last year, the region had experienced 263 fires, covering 944 hectares.

The 10-year average is 383 fires covering 8,754 hectares, but Welsh said the averages included some extremely dry years.

“These factor in some of our very intense years including 2003 and 2009,” she said.

The fire rating in the region is high and a campfire ban remains in place.

Campers who have campfires could receive a $345 ticket. They could also be held responsible for the costs of fighting a wildfire resulting from a person-caused fire.