Homeless Camp starts Grass Fire in Kelowna

Firefighters on Rail Trail Grass fire

Kelowna firefighters responded to multiple reports of a grass fire this morning at Enterprise way and Highway 97.

Fire personnel arrived to find a 20 by 30 grass fire just off the Okanagan Rail Trail, followed by a couple explosions from compressed gas cylinders.

"It appears to be a homeless camp where we had multiple people living there. No one was here on arrival and crews managed to get it contained. Luckily we have a creek nearby that acted as a natural fire guard,” said Kelowna Platoon Captain, Kelly Stephens.

After the fire was extinguished, crews could be seen cleaning up the area, cutting down low branches and drenching the surrounding grass and trees with a hose.

Bylaw officers will be cleaning out additional home and living equipment that the individuals left behind.

Officials are becoming increasingly concerned about any open fires, including cigarettes and campfires.

“This time of year we get a little bit of wind and don’t get lucky like we did today and yesterday and that’s what we’re looking at those houses on the ridge, that’s what scares us,” said Stephens.

Currently there are approximately 40 to 50 camps along the trail.

Campfires are not allowed at any time in the City of Kelowna.