Update 2:07 p.m.
Quesnel RCMP Sgt. Richard Weseen, operations support, said the investigation is ongoing into a vehicle fire that closed the Highway 97 near Alexandria on Thursday morning.
“At approximately 7:15 a.m, a northbound car hauler caught fire on Highway 97 at Picard Road near Alexandria,” Weseen noted in a press release. “Once the fire started, the driver managed to disconnect his truck from the trailer, but the trailer with four vehicles on it, continued to burn. The fire then spread to the grass on both sides of the highway.”
Meseen said the highway remained closed for approximately two hours and was re-opened, but only one lane.
EMCON is conducting traffic control, but the highway may be down to one lane for several hours as it will take specialized equipment to removed the damaged vehicles, he confirmed.
“The investigation into the fire is still ongoing, but preliminary findings are pointing toward a mechanical malfunction was involved” said Weseen. “Kudos to the McLeese Lake Fire Department for their fast response to stop the spread of the grass fire, as a wildfire is the last thing we need heading into Spring.”
Update 10:26 a.m.
A fire north of Wildwood Thursday morning was attended by eight members of the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Dept.
Chief Ian Hicks said a tractor-trailer was hauling vehicles and the trailer caught on fire.
“The driver detached his truck and moved to safety, the resulting trailer with four vehicles was fully involved, and resulted in a grass fire on both sides of Highway 97,” Hicks told the Tribune. “We extinguished the grass and then for safety we waited until all the explosive materials had gone off in the vehicles and put our fire retardant foam to work with protection gear, etc.”
Luckily, he added, by the end of the job, “there was a blizzard and inches of snow.”
Update 10:14 a.m.
Traffic is moving with single-lane alternating after a vehicle fire closed Highway 97 40 kilometres north of Wildwood Thursday morning.
Highway 97 is closed 40 kilometres north of Wildwood due to a truck fire.
A witness at the scene about 10 minutes north of McLeese lake noted a truck hauling cars started on fire, causing the vehicles to light up as well.
No one was injured.
Resident Tawnya McKnight-Isnardy said the driver disconnected the truck and front section of the trailer so he was able to save some of the cars.
“The trailer tires started the fire and and there was also a grass fire from it.”
The McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department attended the scene, putting out the vehicle and grass fires, said chief Ian Hicks.
DriveBC is reporting that no detour is available and drivers are asked to watch for traffic control.
A webcam view on the DriveBC website also shows that snow is falling in the area.
More to come