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BC Wildfire Service still working to extinguish a wildfire that sparked yesterday west of Merritt.
 
Information officer Racheal Witt confirms the fire is contained, but crews are still working to extinguish hot spots within the two-hectare fire that started just before 4pm yesterday afternoon near the Dot Ranch Rd cut-off on the Nooaitch Indian Band reserve.
 
"Crews are still working in mop-up stage. We have 12 firefighters and a water tender on site this morning."
 
Witt says the fire is now suspected as being human caused.
 
While there were structures in the vicinity of the fire, Witt confirms none were threatened by the blaze.
 
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Former Merritt Centennials head coach has a new gig.
 
Luke Pierce, who was fired this summer by the Kootenay Ice after a new ownership group took over the team, has been hired by Hockey Canada to be a coach for Canada's National sledge hockey program.
 
"It will be a big change from the teenagers I've worked with in junior hockey at an elite level, who at times I think can have a sense of entitlement. These guys are so appreciative of the opportunity they have, because of the obstacles they have had to overcome. So, its going to be a refreshing experience working with them for sure."
 
Both the men's and women's national sledge hockey teams are gold medal favorites at the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
 
A former player, Pierce was the head coach and general manager of the Merritt Centennials from 2009 to 2015.
 
Back in May, he was also named an assistant coach of team Canada's team for November's 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
 
 
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BC Wildfire Service working quickly to contain wildfire west of Merritt.

Information officer Melanie Morin says the fire that started just before 4pm near the Dot Ranch Rd cut-off on the Nooaitch Indian Band reserve grew to two hectares, before it was contained shortly before 8pm.

Firefighters were expected to be working well into the night to fully extinguish the blaze.

"There are still seven firefighters on the ground. The airtanker and three helicopters that also responded have completed their objectives.  The fire is currently estimated at two hectares in size, but is not expected to grow. We can confirm there are structures near the vicinity of the fire, but none are threatened at this time. Crews will continue to work throughout the night to fully extinguish the fire, which is burning grass, and brush fuel."

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

 

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Boil water notice could be lifted in Lower Nicola by the end of September.

Carla Beacon with the Lower Nicola Water Works system says construction of the new system could start as early as next week, and if that happens the boil water notice in place since May 11th could be lifted inside of two-months.

"We still need the Ministry of Transportation to sign off on our construction plans, but that is expected by the end of the week. Then it depends on how construction of our new system goes, and I imagine Interior Health will need to a bunch of testing before its operational. But, we're hopeful we will be up and running by the end of September."

Beacon does add that water samples continue to come back within acceptable range.

 

 

 

Roughly 320 customers are affected by the boil water notice from the Lower Nicola Water Works system.

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Wildfire burning west Merritt now measured at two hectares.
 
BC Wildfire Service information officer Melanie Morin confirms the wildfire burning the near the Dot Ranch Rd cut-off on the Nooaitch Indian Band reserve started just before 4pm.
 
"It's considered out of control at the moment. However, there are seven firefighters on the ground, as well as two helicopters and air tankers working on containment and mop-up."
 
Morin says the cause of the fire remains unknown, but does not know if any structures are in danger.
 
Firefighters are expected to remain on scene into the night, as they continue to work to contain the blaze.
 
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