The remnants of the vehicle. Photo: Ootischenia Fire Department

No one injured in Highway 3 vehicle fire east of Castlegar

The fire briefly closed the section of highway on Tuesday afternoon

No one was injured in a vehicle fire on Highway 3 near the Mel DeAnna Trail on Tuesday, according to Ootischenia Fire Department (OFD) acting fire chief Lenn Coates.

Coates said the incident occurred around noon when a flagger noticed smoke coming from a driver’s vehicle while they were waiting in a construction lineup.

Shortly after, the driver drove the vehicle to the side of the highway and safely exited it with two other people.

OFD fire crews quickly responded and contacted the B.C. Ministry of Forests to get permission to respond to the incident outside of their fire protection zone.

Two OFD fire engines ended up being dispatched and crews requested that the Robson Fire Department be put on standby.

Upon arriving, fire crews found the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames and that the fire had spread to nearby trees.

Crews had some challenges putting the vehicle fire out, according to Coates.

“Since there was magnesium holding the seats down inside the vehicle, we had to use foam to put out the fire and to suppress oil and gas vapours,” said Coates.

“If we had used water on the vehicle, it would’ve reacted with the magnesium and created sparks.”

Crews also sprayed water on the trees to fully extinguish the fire around the vehicle.

The OFD personally thanked everyone who helped to respond to the blaze in a social media post.

While the portion of highway was briefly closed during the incident, it has since reopened to traffic.


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The remnants of the vehicle. Photo: Ootischenia Fire Department

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