Fire Fighting in Canada

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Fiery crash, massive avalanche close two B.C. highways

Feb. 24, 2014, Vancouver - An avalanche and a fiery crash that killed a motorist and involved a tanker truck have closed down two major highways in British Columbia.

February 24, 2014
By The Canadian Press

The Transportation Ministry says the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt remains closed because of avalanche control, and Highway 1 east of Lytton has been shut down after an accident.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says nearly three metres of snow have fallen on the Coquihalla corridor during the last 10 days, resulting in slides that have never before reached the highway since it was built 27 years ago.

On Thursday, Chilliwack Search and Rescue reported that a massive avalanche that was powerful enough to destroy houses came down on the highway.

To the west, RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen says Friday's crash on Highway 1 involved a tanker truck and fire, and the BC Ambulance Service reports one person died after being flown to hospital by air ambulance and five others were treated at the scene.

The ministry says it doesn't know when either highway will reopen, although updates on road conditions are available on the DriveBC website.