Fire in Richmond causes congestion and smoke

A fire near Richmond Natural Park, a suburb of Vancouver, creates traffic jams and impairs air quality.

Kevin Gray, deputy chief of the Richmond Fire Department, says the smoke has sounded the alarm among firefighters early Friday morning. The area where the fire is located is very wooded and dotted with peat bogs.

“They had a hard time finding [fire] in the dark. They had to cut the undergrowth,” Gray said.

Firefighters have located the fire nearly 300 meters from the highway and have been fighting the flames since 5:30 am.

Mr. Gray indicates that the fire is burning under the peat.

He added that the firefighters found some tents, but no one was spotted near the fire. “There are traces of a camp so we are investigating it.”

Fire crews blocked Westminster Road between Shell Street and 4th Street to gain access to the flames. Drivers are advised to avoid the area near the intersection of Highways 91 and 99.

“We’re trying to get water to free up the traffic,” Gray said. “It’s going to be a hard day.”

The Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service reports that smoke is spreading through neighborhoods in South Richmond, but there is no danger to health.

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