The usual holiday delays at the borders were even longer for southbound travellers at the Peace Arch crossing this weekend, after an RV in the queue Friday morning caught fire.
No one was injured in the blaze, but “it created a heck of a problem for us,” Chief Thomas Schreiber, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Monday.
The fire broke out at about 8:30 a.m., as occupants of the B.C.-plated RV were next-in-line to cross the border.
Schreiber said efforts immediately focused on ensuring the RV occupants, along with travellers in nearby lanes, were safe.
“They had to close the traffic lanes immediately around the vehicle and get those cars out of the area,” Schreiber said.
“There was a lot of urgency on our people’s part to get the people out.”
All 10 southbound lanes were closed for “the briefest time,” Schreiber said, but the chaos did have a cumulative effect. It’s estimated motorists waited about two hours to cross into the U.S. that morning.