Unexploded mortar from Second World War found by hikers in North Okanagan

A trail in the North Okanagan is temporarily closed after two hikers stumbled across what RMCP called an unexploded mortar round from the Second World War.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said the hikers were walking a trail in Cosens Bay on Friday afternoon and discovered the military ordinance at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Cosens Bay is located beside Kalamalka Lake. Police say the Cosens Bay trail has restricted access while the Sidewinder trail is closed, though Cosens Bay Road remains open to vehicle traffic.

“The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP have two police officers on scene to direct people away from the area, and it is anticipated the military will arrive late this afternoon,” police said in a press release on Saturday.

Many mortars and unexploded shells have been found over the years, including one along Round Lake Road in Spallumcheen in October 2019.

“Given the paint markings on the device, it is believed to be a live ordinance,” Cpl. Tania Finn said of Friday’s finding, noting officers examined the item and sent photos to the RCMP’s explosive disposal unit.

“We have the area cordoned off in order to ensure the safety of park users while we await the attended of the Canadian Forces Explosive Disposal Unit from Esquimalt.”

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