Update 2 pm: A tractor-trailer fire was what led to Highway 97 approximately 40 kilometers north of Wildwood being closed Thursday morning.
The tractor-trailer that was hauling vehicles was detached by the driver and moved to safety.
Chief of the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Ian Hicks said four vehicles from the trailer were fully involved and had resulted in grass fires on both sides of the highway.
“We extinguished the grass fires and then for safety we waited until all the explosive material had gone off in the vehicles and put our fire-retardant foam to work,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Luckily by the end of the job, there was a full blizzard and inches of snow!”
Quesnel RCMP Staff Sgt. Richard Weseen said the four brand new vehicles were destroyed.
“The investigation into the fire is still ongoing, but preliminary findings are pointing toward a mechanical malfunction,” Weseen said. “Kudos to the McLeese Lake Fire Department for their fast response to stop the spread of the grass fire, as a wildfire is the last thing we need heading into spring.”
The highway was closed for approximately two hours as a result of the incident.
Update 10:30 am: Traffic is moving on Highway 97 following a vehicle incident Thursday morning 40 kilometers north of Wildwood.
OPEN – #BCHwy97 is now open to single lane alternating traffic at Picard Rd, north of #McLeeseLake. Watch for traffic control and expect delays.
Next update: 12:00 PM
More info: https://t.co/jRPhnf1FEO#Cariboo
— DriveBC C (@DriveBC_C) March 26, 2020
Previous: Highway 97 approximately 40 kilometers north of Wildwood is closed in both directions due to a vehicle incident.
DriveBC said Thursday morning at 9:30 that an assessment is in progress and a detour is not available.
MyCaribooNow has reached out to the RCMP for further details.
— Drive BC (@DriveBC) March 26, 2020
(Note: This article has been further updated to include comment from Quesnel RCMP. The headline has also been changed to clarify the location of the incident.)