White smoke can be seen rising from a small hill alongside Highway 8 near Merritt Aug. 2, 2018. (Facebook/Monalissa Shackley)

White smoke can be seen rising from a small hill alongside Highway 8 near Merritt Aug. 2, 2018. (Facebook/Monalissa Shackley)

Crews responding to 3 hectare wildfire near Merritt

Popular Rockin’ River music festival begins tonight south of town

UPDATE: 8 p.m.

Crews continue to fight a small wildfire that began near Merritt on Thursday afternoon. The blaze is estimated to be around three hectares in size and BC Wildfire ground crews are on scene, in addition to helicopters, air tankers and members of the local fire department.

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The BC Wildfire Service reported late Thursday afternoon that another wildfire has started near Merritt.

Provincial fire crews are responding, although little more is known at this time.

The fire is burning west of the Merritt and Highway 8 is closed in both directions one kilometre outside of town at Voght Street because of the blaze. No detour is available and motorists are advised to use alternate routes.

There is no estimated time of reopening, according to Drive BC.

Today also marks the start of the Rockin’ River Music Fest where thousands of people from across B.C. and Western Canada have arrived to see popular artists like Eric Church and Dallas Smith this weekend.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

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