Fire closes GE park entrance

Despite a dreary weather forecast, the long weekend turned out to be hot and sunny for most residents of the Lower Mainland.

A vehicle caught fire at the entrance to the campgrounds at Golden Ears Park.

A vehicle caught fire at the entrance to the campgrounds at Golden Ears Park.

Despite a dreary weather forecast, the long weekend turned out to be hot and sunny for most residents of the Lower Mainland.

But for one motorist at Golden Ears Provincial Park, it may have been too hot for comfort.

At 1:56 p.m. on Sunday, a woman driving an older Jeep Cherokee noticed smoke coming from under the hood while waiting in line to enter the park and called the Maple Ridge fire department. By the time trucks arrived, the car had burst into flames.

“It was burning pretty good,” said fire chief Dane Spence. “Firefighters had to extinguish the fire, and advised that it started in the engine compartment of the vehicle.”

Police were also called to the scene, but by the time they arrived the fire had been dealt with.

SSG Holdings, the company that operates the park, said that on a typical long weekend it sees all 402 campground sites occupied.

Stu Burgess, operational manager for the company, estimated that there were about 400-500 vehicles trying to enter the park that day.

“It happened about 11 kilometres into the park,” he said. “It affected people trying to get in and out of the campground for about an hour, because there’s only one way into the camp and we had to shut that down.”

Despite extensive damage to the vehicle, there were no injuries.

RCMP said that they are not looking into the incident further.