New fire ignites near Monte Lake, closes highway-UPDATE

By Jill Sperling
July 31, 2017 - 4:23pm Updated: August 1, 2017 - 5:20am

MONTE LAKE, B.C. — UPDATE — Highway 97 is open again near Monte Lake after being closed yesterday afternoon because of a new wildfire at the south end of the lake.

Officials had just finished signing off on the Martin Mountain fire, saying that it was 100 percent contained, and things were well under control, when reports of the new fire came in.

In fact, it was a group of four small fires igniting along the road, giving speculation that it might have been a dragging muffler causing sparks that caused the fires.

One of those fires reached two hectares in size. They were quickly brought under control.

RCMP Sergeant Justin Thiessen says trees and underbrush were involved in the fires.

Monte Lake resort owner Dennis Smith says the fire was hit hard from the air and by ground crews.

He said most of the flames were out by 7:00 PM last night.

Roadblocks were in effect until about 9:00 PM while B.C. Wildfire crews doused hot spots. 

                       - Story by Doug Collins with files from Global Okanagan




EARLIER — Firefighters and air support rushed to the site of a new fire in Monte Lake this afternoon, July 31. 

The fire sparked just hours after Monte Lake residents were allowed to go home following the containment of the 150 hectare Martin Mountain fire that sparked last week. 

The new fire is showing rank 1 behaviour, as a smouldering ground fire, and is estimated to be approximately two hectares in size.

Highway 97 was closed in both direction at Monte Lake. 

Air tankers had finished attacking the fire around 5:30 p.m., but 34 personnel, three helicopters, and heavy equipment remained on scene. 

Police set up tip line to find cause of Elephant Mountain fire