The highway in and out of Port Alberni was closed early Sunday morning (Aug. 23) as a vehicle caught fire near a provincial park.
Members of the Port Alberni RCMP were called to a vehicle fire near Cathedral Grove at 1:10 a.m. and discovered a 2003 Ford Escape engulfed in flames on the side of Highway 4. RCMP closed down the highway for safety reasons and contacted the Coastal Fire Centre, who then contacted the Port Alberni Fire Department (PAFD), said Cpl. Jordan Hamlyn of the Port Alberni RCMP.
“The fire was mostly out at that time and we were able to re-open the highway,” added Hamlyn. “[The fire department] doused the flames and cooled the vehicle and the nearby foliage.”
PAFD deputy chief Wes Patterson said the fire department was called out just after 2 a.m. Cathedral Grove is outside of Port Alberni’s typical fire protection boundaries, which is why Coastal Fire Centre was contacted first.
“We sent an engine and four firefighters to the scene,” said Patterson. “When we got there, the fire had mostly burned down but was still smoldering.”
The fire had not spread to any of the nearby forest, which Hamlyn attributed to the recent rainy weather.
No injuries were sustained in the incident. The highway was re-opened at around 3:30 a.m. and the PAFD remained on scene to clean up.