Several fires were sparked along Highway 8 between Merritt and Lower Nicola on the evening of July 18.

“Last night’s fires crossed over two jurisdictions, Lower Nicola Indian Band Lands and the TNRD where the Merritt Fire Rescue Department (MFRD) provides fire services under contract,” said Fire Chief Dave Tomkinson. 

Crews were dispatched at roughly 9p.m. after reports of multiple fires in the ditches and hay fields northwest of Merritt. 

“The fires were successfully extinguished through the joint efforts of the Lower Nicola Fire Department, BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) and MFRD.  The MFRD actioned two fires between Municipal boundaries and Billwiller Road, while the remainder were actioned by Lower Nicola Fire Department and the BC Wildfire Service.” 

In total, three fire apparatus and 14 firefighters from the Merritt station responded, alongside the LNIB fire crews and BCWS. Crews remained on scene until midnight. Hwy. 8 was closed in both directions for more than an hour as the fires were extinguished. 

BCWS crews were out this morning performing mop up and monitoring for hot spots. 

BC RCMP are currently investigating the cause of the fire and will release their findings when the investigation concludes.