By DARREN HANDSCHUH
Firefighters battling the Kokanee Road fire had to deal with more than flames on the weekend.
Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Wildfire Management Branch firefighters encountered a mortar shell while battling the fire in the Predator Ridge area.
Unexploded ordinances (UXOs) are a result of Vernon's military past and have been found in surrounding hills and fields for decades.
Firefighters that were involved in the mop-up stage after the fire was controlled were pulled back to the staging area after the UXO was found by a member of the crew.
Following that discovery, RCMP were called to the site to map the co-ordinates. The Department of National Defense was also notified, and a UXO recovery team has been assembled.
The area is currently cordoned off and nearby residents have been notified to stay away.
City officials said there is the potential for other UXOs surrounding Vernon, including in the Commonage area, on Okanagan Indian Band reserve land, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park and other rural areas.
If discovered, leave the area immediately and call 911 to report the UXO.
The fire is 100 per cent contained and is in the mop-up stage.