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Large, smoky Metro Vancouver trestle fire extinguished, no injuries reported

Blaze on structure over Fraser River triggered an air quality warning
People watch and photograph a dock ablaze in Richmond B.C., on Thursday, June 20, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

The assistant deputy chief of Richmond Fire-Rescue says no injuries have been reported in relation to a massive fire that engulfed a trestle bridge in Richmond, B.C., and triggered an air quality warning.

Grant Wyenberg says crews fought the blaze on the wooden bridge across the north arm of the Fraser River until around 5 a.m. Friday, with a fire boat working on sections over the water.

Wyenberg says the location made it “very challenging” to completely extinguish, and staff were still on scene mid-morning, working to extinguish hot spots before they started a fire investigation.

Spectators gathered to watch the bridge burn late Thursday, sending up huge plumes of black smoke.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District says the smoke prompted an air quality bulletin for the region, but it has since been lifted.

The district’s air quality map shows the area around the now-extinguished blaze near the Oak Street Bridge on the north arm of the Fraser River is ranked at level two of 10, indicating “low risk.”

The province’s driver information system, DriveBC, indicates the Oak Street Bridge is now open in both directions after the fire forced its closure Thursday night.

Vancouver International Airport says its operations are not affected, but it encourages passengers to plan ahead and allow extra time to reach the airport.

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