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BREAKING: Fire sends thick smoke above industrial area of Merritt

A helicopter could be seen dumping water on the blaze around 4 p.m. Saturday
A fire broke out in an industrial area of Merritt Saturday, July 29, 2023. (Jordy Cunningham - Capital News)

A large fire has sparked in an industrial area of Merritt Saturday afternoon.

The fire is located off Houston Street and appears to have originated as a slash pile at a wood processing plant that got out of control due to strong winds in the area shortly before 4 p.m. July 29.

Merritt Fire Rescue is responding to the “major fire” at the old Tolko site, the City of Merritt said in a press release.

“Neighbouring communities are providing assistance with mutual aid, and we are working with BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management and Climate Readiness BC, “the city said.

The city’s emergency operations centre has been activated to support the response.

A helicopter could be seen dumping buckets of water, and water bombers have repeatedly attacked the blaze.

A Black Press Media reporter is near the scene said fire could be seen spreading north into trees and bushes.

Thick smoke can be seen in the area of the fire and a brown smoke is blanketing the town.

An ambulance is standing by near the blaze.

BC Wildfire Service lists the fire as being 0.6 hectares in size.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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