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Shuswap house fire spreads to forest

August 12, 2016 8:49 A.M.



Fire crews remain on the scene of a house fire that spread to nearby grassland and trees near Salmon Arm Thursday night, Aug. 12.

“There are still a few hot spots and there are firefighters on-site doing a fire watch,” said Cliff Doherty, Shuswap Emergency Program spokesman, on Friday morning.

A husband, wife and baby were evacuated from the house, as were some nearby residents along Canoe Point Road in Sunnybrae.

Doherty said the house and an outbuilding were destroyed and the cause of the fire is not yet known.

A Vancouver man who's mother and son were staying in another house below the fire said they were prepared to evacuate if the spreading fire got any worse but, thankfully, that did not happen.

“The fact it didn't get worse is a very good thing,” said Michael Cain. “My family was prepared to evacuate by water if the fire had spread.”

The fire forced some evacuations in the immediate area on Canoe Point Road, near Herald Provincial Park.

It started in a home on the 4800 block of Canoe Point Road in the tiny community of Sunnybrae, about 9:30 p.m.

By 11:30 p.m., it had been contained, Shuswap Emergency Program spokesman Cliff Doherty said.

Flames were visible from a large area of Shuswap Lake.

Tappen-Sunnybrae firefighters were assisted by additional equipment and firefighters from the White Lake and Shuswap Fire Departments.

In total, 10 units and 25 firefighters from the three Columbia-Shuswap Regional District fire departments fought the blaze, along with help from B.C. Wildfire Service.

Trees and the forest surrounding the burning structure were also ignited.

Crews were expected to remain on scene mopping up into this morning.

An investigation into the cause of the initial structure fire has begun.

The Shuswap Emergency Program activated its Emergency Operations Centre and offered emergency support services to the displaced family.

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