Traffic was moving slowly after Highway 97 re-opened to single lane alternating traffic due to the incident. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Crews respond to MVI-caused fire north of Williams Lake

BC Hydro, BC Wildfire Service and McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. crews work into the night at the scene where a vehicle struck a power pole

UPDATE: Power has been restored to the area after hydro crews worked into the night to replace a downed power pole broken during a single vehicle motor vehicle incident Saturday afternoon.


BC Wildfire Service and McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. crews continue to extinguish a .8 hectare fire 22 kilometres north of Williams Lake caused by a single vehicle accident.

The fire started Saturday afternoon around 12:45 p.m. after a truck travelling southbound, left the roadway, rolled down an embankment and struck a power pole.

Williams Lake RCMP Officer in Charge Inspector Jeff Pelley said the three occupants inside the vehicle were transported to Cariboo Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

“The cause of the collision is believed to be driver fatigue,” Pelley said, noting the fire fully engulfed the vehicle.

Pelley said along with the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, Central Cariboo Search and Rescue and the Ministry of Transporation also attended the scene.

A BCWS incident commander on scene told the Tribune when the BCWS initial attack crew arrived just after 1 p.m. the fire was already .2 hectares in size and grew to about half a hectare in size before it was contained on all flanks.

By 5:30 p.m. the fire was described as ‘“low vigour,” by the incident commander who said he anticipated crews would remain on site until at least 10 p.m. Saturday night.

McLeese Lake Fire Dept. Ian Hicks said seven members of his crew responded after a local resident who was driving by called them.

“When we got here forestry was already on scene,” Hicks said, noting his department brought a pumper truck, and another truck with two portable pumps.

Looking down toward the wreckage of the vehicle, Hicks said he couldn’t believe the occupants had walked away OK.

BC Hydro also attended and by 5:30 p.m. were still working to restore power.

The BC Hydro website noted power had been restored to some of the 544 customers that had been without power since 12:41 p.m. and it was estimated power would be estored to the remaining 252 customers by 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

EMCON Services and Cariboo Power Flaggers were called in for traffic control as Highway 97 was closed for about and hour and a half and then re-opened to single lane alternating traffic before fully opening at 6:00 p.m.

Read more: Highway 97 reopens to single lane alternating traffic 22 km north of Williams Lake

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Water truck and bladder supplying water.

BCWS crew member at the scene. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

A power pole impacted by the collision. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. crews on scene. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Ian Hicks (right) said seven members of his dept. responded after receiving a call from a local resident about the fire. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo.

A BCWS five-pack arrive for the evening shift at around 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

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