Overheated bearings on an 18 wheeler caused sparks then entire dual tire came off truck.
Nick Skogan and Shawn Sloat were heading north on Highway 19 Monday evening when they noticed several small fires burning on the side of the road.
“We first saw smoke coming up and the closer we got we saw a little bit of flames and just pulled over and used what we had to put it out.” said Sloat
But all they had were the sandals on their feet, a bit of Gatorade and their golf clubs.
“The club’s little ashy still, a little chipped up but she’s good” added Sloat. But it worked.”
It happened between Dove Creek Road and Hamm Road and several other people also stopped to help put out what ended up to be numerous fires along the highway.
The Courtenay Fire Department soon arrived on the scene.
“They were about 10×12 or 15×20” explained Courtenay Deputy Chief Dennis Henderson. “It doesn’t take long to grow from something quite small to something quite large. Fortunately, there wasn’t much wind and again a lot of motorists stopped and extinguished the fires upon our arrival.”
“It’s a burning off piece of steel, that’s what started it. It came flying off a vehicle.” Sloat and Skogan could be heard saying on a video they recorded as they were putting out the fires.
The initial assumption was that a burning cigarette or cigarettes started the fires but officials say a hot piece of metal came off an 18 wheeler.
“One of the dual tires, the bearings seemed to have seized in the axle and when the bearings seized they created friction, which created heat, which created sparks and hence the small spot fires and about 2km north of the spot fires the semi lost its dual tire as a result of the extra ordinary heat.” said Henderson.
It illustrates how dry conditions are and the different way a fire can be started.
In July 2013, on the same highway south of Courtenay, a tire came off a boat trailer causing sparks and a large brush fire.