A Nelson resident joined other drivers outside Kelowna on Friday to help put out a fire that spread to a nearby home.
Nelson’s Josh Georgetti was returning to Route 33 about 14 kilometers outside of Central Okanagan City when he noticed fires on both sides of the road west of the Joe Rich Fire Station.
Georgetti said it was like someone threw a cigarette butt.
“(It was) like a passenger side (and) a driver side,” said Georgetti, who was in Kelowna to visit his fiancée Emma at Kelowna General Hospital.
Georgetti said he stopped and, with the help of 10 to 15 other people who were also passing by the scene of the fire, helped put out the fires.
“You see smoke in August and that’s definitely not a good sign,” Georgetti said.
“We all stopped. . .. I had rakes in the back of my Jeep and some people had bits of 2x4s and 2x8s and people had water bottles. It was crazy, but we got it out.
Citizens brought the fires under control in about 15 minutes just before firefighters from Joe Rich Hall arrived.
Georgetti said one fire was about 15 square feet while the other was much larger.
“It was really quite big; it was sold out,” Georgetti said.
“If no one had stopped this house would probably have disappeared, it would have been pretty bad,” he added.
“You could see it started on the highway and worked its way through the tall grass.”
The BC Wildfire Dashboard reports 969 fires currently in the province this year – of which 191 are active and 70 new in the past two days.
There are currently 35 active fires at the Kamloops Fire Center, the area where this fire is located, and 79 at the Southeast Fire Center.
This fire in Joe Rich was close to a nearby residence along Highway 33. The homeowner, once realizing the danger of the fire, also helped with a garden hose to put out the remaining hot spots.
Georgetti was in Kelowna to visit his fiancée Emma, who has been at KGH since July 25, 2022, recovering from a serious bicycle accident on an electric bicycle.
Emma, 34 weeks pregnant with the couple’s first child, was flown from Nelson to KGH following the crash which resulted in a head injury, broken collarbone, multiple scrapes and bruises and a compression fracture of the lower lumbar region.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family cover medical expenses and support Baby G.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to help ease financial stress for Emma, Josh and Baby G. — Screenshot