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Semi fire on Okanagan Connector sparks wildfire concerns

Semi fire on Okanagan Connector sparks wildfire concerns
From Global News - August 12, 2017

Claudia Wilson thought her tired eyes were playing tricks on her when she first saw tongues of fire reaching from the back tires of the semi truck in front of her, licking the trailer.

It was about 1:40 a.m. on Friday, and she was traveling alone on the Okanagan Connector.

Wilson sped up and got alongside the trailer, frantically honking her horn and flashing her lights at the driver, getting him to pull over.

Another semi driver also pulled over to help, but their fire extinguishers were no match for the quickly spreading flames.

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Wilson called 911.

They said just let it burn, Wilson said. I said, what? This could cause a forest fire. They said if that happens, call back.

Most of the Okanagan Connector is not within any municipal fire departments boundaries, but under the jurisdiction of the BC Wildfire Service, which can only respond to wildland fires, not vehicle fires.

The Peachland fire chief says there are situations when fire halls will go out of bounds, but the decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

We have constant communication with Wildfires, and we do respond, dependingtheres a lot of science that goes into it.

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