A major inferno at the Campbell Mountain landfill on Sunday afternoon produced heavy plumes of black smoke that was visible from across the City of Penticton and as far away as Summerland.
Rob Trupp, assistant chief with the Penticton fire department, said the blaze broke out in a scrap metal pile shortly after 12:00 p.m.
“The guy was working in the pile and something went ‘bang!’ and then a fire erupted out of it,” he told Global News.
Fire suppression efforts were delayed as there is no fire hydrant at the landfill.
“We just used up all the water from the water tender and then we have to wait for it to go back down and refill,” Trupp said of the initial emergency response.
“Now we’ve got a bladder out and we are cycling water from the two tenders and we got a city water tender that just showed up as well.”
Six members of the Penticton fire department and six members from the Naramata fire department are on scene.
Trupp said nearby residents may have voluntarily evacuated, but the fire department did not request a formal evacuation.
“The crew on scene had it well under control when they arrived so there was no need for that.”
He added the BC Wildfire Service is also patrolling the area as a precautionary measure.
Reservoir Rd. access to the landfill will be blocked by RCMP for the next few hours.
“We can’t have people on the side of the road and clogging up the road so we need free reign for the tenders to run up and down the hill.”