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Elkford firefighters respond to highway vehicle fire

A vehicle was fully engulfed in flames by the time Elkford firefighters were able to arrive at the scene along Highway 43, outside of the local jurisdiction.

District of Elkford officials said they received a call about the car near Weigert Creek Forest Service Road shortly before 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

However, they were unable to respond until almost an hour later, at 6:50 a.m., as they needed clearance from the BC Wildfire Service.

“Unfortunately, fire departments have no authority to action a fire outside of their designated fire protection area until permission is granted from the authority having jurisdiction (in this case, the BC Wildfire Service),” said Elkford officials “RCMP on the scene were holding traffic from both sides as the firefighters arrived.”

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Once crews arrived at the scene, they assessed the fire’s perimeter and determined there was no threat to the surrounding forest.

The team focused their efforts on the smouldering vehicle, and traffic reopened to a single lane once it was safe.

“Public safety and the preservation of life are our first and foremost considerations when responding to these types of incidents,” said Elkford Fire Chief, Curtis Nyuli. “It’s challenging to have to wait when you get the call—especially in the heightened fire season— and when you’ve been trained to be first in and last out, but we are obligated to follow the correct procedure when responding to these types of calls.”

Elkford officials said firefighters remained on the scene until just after 7:45 a.m.

No injuries have been reported from this incident.

“The cause of the fire is undetermined but is suspected to have been a wheel bearing or possibly mechanical in nature,” said district staff. “The driver pulled over immediately upon hearing abnormal noises from the front end of the car.”

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