The BC Wildfire Service says it responded to a house fire on Highway 97 south of Vernon Monday night.
The home was outside of any fire department jurisdiction, and was destroyed.
In an email to Kiss FM, the Forest Ministry says while the BC Wildfire Service doesn’t generally action structural fires, the firefighters responded to this incident to ensure the fire didn’t spread and become a wildfire.
District of Coldstream Administrator Trevor Seibel says their fire department doesn’t respond to incidents outside their boundaries, with only a few exceptions.
“If there’s situations in Kal Lake Park that may be a potential fire threat to our residents, there are provisions that allow our department to respond that we deal with, but as a general rule of thumb, we don’t respond to fires outside our municipal boundaries,” Seibel tells kiss FM.
Seibel says the site was “far out of their jurisdiction.” He believes it was likely closest to the Predator Ridge Fire Hall, run by the City of Vernon.
“It’s in an electoral area that doesn’t have fire protection. The Ministry of Forests is the agency responsible. That’s who responds to fires in those areas,” adds Seibel.
Interim Vernon Fire Chief David Lind says they got a call about the fire, but didn’t have the authority to respond to it outside their area.
“We assume a whole bunch of liabilities for our organizations, and at the same time, if we do that, we are leaving our community exposed and in some cases, without the protectin they need,” says Lind.
There is no word what caused it, but the two occupants got out safely.
The Ministry of Forests did not respond when asked which agency will investigate the cause.