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Witnesses, video of 'suspicious' activity prior to Knox Mountain wildfire sought: Kelowna RCMP

kelowna wildfire

Mounties are investigating a wildfire that sparked on Knox Mountain in Kelowna on Canada Day and prompted temporary evacuation orders and a local state of emergency.

Kelowna RCMP suspect the fire was human-caused, and are asking anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity at the top or around the base of Knox Mountain between noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday to come forward.

Authorities distributed a map that shows green areas with a direct sightline to the location of the fire. They believe people in those areas could have video of suspicious activity.

“Police believe the locations with the best angles are bounded by the following streets: Eastern boundary to Richter Street, Southern boundary to Clement Avenue, Western boundary to Okanagan Lake/Manhattan Point, and Northern boundary to Central Avenue,” Mounties said in a news release Thursday. “The red shading on the map is not in the sightline, therefore not visible to the area in question.”

Anyone who was in the green shaded area that has video of Knox Mountain or any information related to the investigation is asked to call Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 and reference file number 2023-37249.

Residents in the Knox Mountain, Poplar Point, Magic Estates and Clifton areas were under a brief evacuation order on Canada Day, but it was later downgraded to an alert.

At the peak of the fire fight, nearly 450 homes were evacuated.

Carol Fitzpatrick was one of those ordered to evacuate and she only had about 15 minutes to grab her belongings and go.

“The smoke was getting thicker and thicker, and people were out wandering down the sidewalks trying to get information from police,” she told CTV News on Sunday.

“We started throwing things together as fast as we could. Grabbed our dog, clothes, medications and we took off,” she recalled.

Fitzpatrick has never been forced to leave her home before and said the whole experience was stressful and scary.

“There were police vehicles all over, blocking all the streets so no one could come through. It was just a lot of chaos,” she said.

Everyone was allowed back home Saturday evening and no injuries or structural impacts were reported.

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Tahmina Aziz. Top Stories

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