Spectacular tire fire does little damage at Penticton Speedway - InfoNews

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Spectacular tire fire does little damage at Penticton Speedway

A tire fire at Pentcton Speedway on Saturday, May 4 caused a lot of heavy, black smoke but caused little damage, burning a used tire pile and a motorhome and a trailer headed for a speedway event on Sunday.
Image Credit: Jasmine Aantjes
May 06, 2019 - 5:50 PM

PENTICTON - It had all the appearances of a serious fire, but a blaze at Penticton Speedway that filled the sky with black smoke Saturday afternoon failed to cause serious damage.

The blaze, which set a used tire pile on fire, burned a couple of derelict trailers and a few hundred tires before speedway crews brought it under control and Penticton firefighters put it out.

A spark from a volunteer preparing a motorhome for Sunday’s Day of Destruction event set the unit on fire in the early afternoon of May 4.

Speedway owner Johnny Aantjes says the fire quickly spread in spite of early efforts to extinguish it, spreading to a nearby used tire pile.

“It was contained quickly and a decision was made by the Penticton Fire Department to put out the tire fire,” Aantjes says, adding the tires are used in the speedway’s hit-to-pass event.

The motorhome was being stripped of structural components in order to make it safer for cars to jump through during Sunday’s destruction event.

Aantjes said a second destruction trailer also burned.

“You can hardly tell there was fire there at all, now,” Aantjes says today, May 6, adding Sunday’s events went on as scheduled.

Aantjes expressed thanks to many neighbours who offered assistance and helped out over the weekend.

Penticton Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Forster says the department was unable to respond to the call initially, because the speedway is out of the city’s fire fighting protection area.

Forster says a crew was stationed near the scene after noting the amount of thick, black smoke emanating from the speedway.

Fire Chief Larry Watkinson appraised the scene and after consultation with B.C. Wildfire Services received approval to douse the flames in order to keep them from spreading to nearby Crown Land.

Forster says there would normally be nothing the department could do since there is no agreement between the city and the upper Carmi area to fight fire.

A referendum to provide that service was turned down by Carmi residents last year.

Firefighting costs will be recovered under the provincial emergency response agreement.

The speedway was cleaned up quickly after Saturday's fire.
The speedway was cleaned up quickly after Saturday's fire.
Image Credit: Jasmine Aantjes

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