Major accident on Highway 3 closes highway on July 2; wildfire danger rising

Fire danger rising as weather heats up in the Lower Similkameen

Pat Tracey was returning from Osoyoos

RCMP media relations issued a press release out of Kelowna early July 3 regarding an accident that shut down Highway 3 for several hours Wednesday night, July 2.

Emergency crews dealt with a fiery, two-vehicle crash that occurred on July 2, at 4:53 p.m.

The Osoyoos RCMP responded to a collision between two transport trucks on Highway 3 near Spotted Lake located approximately nine kilometres west of Osoyoos. A transport truck impacted a loaded logging truck, igniting on impact. The fire spread to the logging truck and then to the surrounding grassland, briefly threatening one residence. Local and forestry fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze before it could spread beyond control.

The transport truck driver, a 46-year-old Kelowna man, suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries and was taken by air ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Analysis of the scene continued into Thursday to determine the causal factors in the crash, but alcohol is not suspected.

The highway was closed for several hours as emergency crews mitigated the fire and cleared the wreckage. Highway 3 has since reopened.

The Keremeos and District Volunteer Fire Department dealt with two grass fires during the last week of June and the first week of July. Both fires were small and quickly contained, but Fire Chief Jordy Bosccha warned residents of potentially high fire danger in the valley as the weather settles into a summer pattern.

“We answered a call to Upper Bench Road on Wednesday, July 2 for a grass fire,”Bosscha said, “ apparently started by a ricochetting bullet from the Keremeos – Cawston Sportsmen’s Club.”

 

Bosscha said the fire department quickly contained the fire, which measured roughly 10 by 20  metres. The fire department also responded to a wildfire  just off Tenth Avenue, west of Boundary Road, on Sunday, June 20. That fire, believed to have been sparked by an abandoned campfire, measured roughly 10 by 10 metres.

 

 

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