Semi fire temporarily closes Highway 3 near Castlegar

The vehicle fire started at approximately 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Photo: Connor Trembley
The fire completely destroyed the semi. Photo: Connor TrembleyThe fire completely destroyed the semi. Photo: Connor Trembley

Highway 3 was temporarily closed on Tuesday morning near the Castlegar brake check after a semi became engulfed in flames.

Keegz Towing owner Keegan Kernachan said the incident occurred around 7 a.m. after the semi’s engine exploded.

“The flames burnt a hole right through the side of the engine,” said Kernachan.

“We believe a mechanical failure inside the truck started the fire.”

Castlegar Fire Department and Ootischenia Fire Department crews quickly responded to the fire and were able to put it out with hoses.

The incident caused traffic to back-up northbound and southbound along the highway as crews suppressed the blaze.

Kernachan couldn’t believe the extent of the damage.

“This is something we don’t see everyday for sure,” said Kernachan as he was about to tow the semi away at 10:30 a.m.

“This is what insurance would deem as a total write off.”

The driver of the semi didn’t sustain any injuries, according to Kernachan.

A commercial trailer fire occurred around the same section of the highway late last month.

Castlegar RCMP and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers also responded to the semi fire.

The section of highway has since reopened to traffic.

Authorities recently conducted a winter tire inspection along Highway 3 to make sure motorists had proper winter tires heading into winter.

READ MORE: BREAKING: Nine cases of COVID-19 in Salmo


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

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