Fire Fighting in Canada

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Wildfire disrupts travel at Kelowna, B.C., airport

July 26, 2013, Kelowna, B.C. – Humans are likely responsible for a wildfire that grounded traffic at Kelowna International Airport in B.C.'s central Okanagan on Thursday night.

July 26, 2013
By The Canadian Press

July 26, 2013, Kelowna, B.C. – Humans are likely responsible for a wildfire that grounded traffic at Kelowna International Airport in B.C.'s central Okanagan on Thursday night.

Flames were first spotted north of the airport near Ellison Lake before dusk and the aggressive blaze quickly spread through timber, to cover about 3.5 hectares.

Two helicopters and an air tanker were dispatched by the Forest Service, bolstered by ground crews from several local fire departments.

Crews managed to guard and contain the blaze overnight.

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At the height of the fire, smoke halted landings or takeoffs at the airport for about three hours, and the airspace was closed because of the activity of nearby Forest Service aircraft.

Fire information officer Melissa Welch says crews are now working around the perimeter of the fire, stamping out hot spots as flames continue to smolder.