A BC Forest Services air response was called in Wednesday morning to fight a blaze on a steep slope which ignited due to a multi-structure fire just one kilometre out of City of Kimberley limits. The fire began in the attic of one of the buildings, and occupants were able to get some valuables out before the buildings were fully engulfed.
Police on the scene called in the Forest Service as trees on a steep slope behind the fire were beginning to ignite.
Three Forestry ground crews and a helicopter were on scene. The site was to be monitored for hot spots through the night, though flames had died down by mid-afternoon.
The highway re-opened to single lane traffic mid-afternoon as well, while BC Hydro worked on getting power back to approximately 300 customers, after the fire damaged a power pole. The pole was replaced by BC Hydro crews.
Kimberley city firefighters were not involved as the fire was outside City limits. Regional District Area E residents have twice voted down proposals to extend Kimberley fire protection into the rural areas surrounding the city.
No one was hurt by the fire, though five people are now homeless and reported to be staying with friends.