Multiple vehicles and a camper have caught fire at the Penticton Speedway on May 4 at about 2 p.m. Crews are on scene using a backhoe to pull other vehicles away from the blaze. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

UPDATE: Tire pile and campers ablaze at Penticton Speedway

Blaze allegedly caused by work being done inside one camper, spread to tire pile

3:00 p.m.

According to Penticton Speedway owner Johnny Aantjes, the fire at the speedway started as a result of work being done on a camper for an upcoming destruction event.

“We were getting it ready for tomorrow’s event, and we have to take some of the steel structure out of (the camper),” said Aantjes. “It caught fire and it happened to be sitting with a couple of other things unfortunately.”

The blaze quickly spread to another camper and then a nearby tire pile. Crews responded quickly and no other reports of damage or injuries have been made.

“We managed to isolate the fire pretty quick but thankfully the Penticton Fire Department came up and put it out,” said Aantjes.

Aantjes is grateful for the efforts of the fire department and joked that this fire is just “the start of the destruction for tomorrow.” Fire Captain Graham Gowe said due to the location of the speedway and the fire, they wanted to respond quickly so it did not turn into an “interface fire”.

Gowe said while they are not concerned about flying embers from this fire, tire fires can be challenging to extinguish due to the smoke. Aantjes is just happy he and his team had cleared out their tire pile last week, stating that about 200 tires caught fire today but there were around 1,300 there previously.

2:30 p.m.

According to a witness on scene, the blaze started when a camper was being prepped for the upcoming destruction derby at the speedway. A spark, likely caused by cutting inside the camper, caused the fire which then spread to the second camper.

From there, the fire spread the tire pile located at the speedway. Crews are still on scene battling the blaze on the pile, the campers are still smouldering.

2:15 p.m.

A tire pile at the Penticton Speedway is consumed with fire. According to a Western News reporter on scene, firefighters are using an excavator to move the tires. Two campers also caught fire.

2:05 p.m.

At least two campers have caught fire on Saturday at the Penticton Speedway.

Giant plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the Carmi Hill at about 2 p.m. on May 4. A Western News reporter is on scene and said so far at least two campers have caught fire.

Crews are on scene currently using a backhoe to pull the vehicles away from the burning area.

There is no word yet as to what caused the blaze. More information to come.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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