Crash near Merritt sparks small grass fire

By James Peters
September 13, 2017 - 12:08pm

MERRITT, B.C. — A crash north of Merritt led to a small grass fire overnight.

The incident involved a semi, which overturned on Highway 5A about 26 kilometres north of Merritt, on the north end of Nicola Lake.

The fiery crash ignited a grass fire, and Information Officer Max Birkner of the Kamloops Fire Centre says crews are still working to put it out.

"We put two initial attack crews on it, which means six firefighters," said Birkner." It did start last night and grew to about two hectares in size, and it's at the north end of Nicola Lake. The fire can be seen from Highway 5A, but there are no structures that are threatened right now."

It's unclear how badly the semi's occupants were hurt.

As of the noon hour, traffic was getting through the area.

Meantime, the cooler weather has led to less wildfire activity in the Kamloops area.

"Generally, with the cooler weather and some precipitation in various areas of the fire centre, we've seen a bit of a reduction in fire activity, especially on some of our large fires we are dealing with," said Birkner. "So it's certainly a welcome change. That being said, we are asking the public to continue to be vigilant."

"There are a lot of people going back to school, but it's also hunting season right now. There are a lot of people out fishing. So there are still a fair amount of people out there using the back country. So we're just asking that those people be very cautious, and keep in mind that there are numerous restrictions out there in the back country, including campfire and off-road vehicle restrictions."

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