A weekend fire damaged a bridge on the North Road but has not affected operations at Canfor’s Houston mill. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

A weekend fire damaged a bridge on the North Road but has not affected operations at Canfor’s Houston mill. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

Police investigating bridge fire at Houston

Sign found linking blaze to ongoing American protests

Ongoing protests in which demonstrators have been surrounding American federal government buildings in Portland, Oregon may have had something to do with a weekend fire set on the bridge which crosses over top of Hwy. 16 leading into Houston from the west.

RCMP Corporal Madonna Saunderson said a sign referring to the Portland protests was hanging from the bridge when officers arrived at the scene July 25 to find a Houston firefighter attempting to douse the flames.

“The fire, which had been fuelled by firewood and pallets, was being doused with water when an explosion happened sending debris over the barrier to the highway below,” she reported. “According to firefighters, this was likely caused by the rapid cooling of the fire due to the water.”

There were no injuries, Saunderson said.

The North Road bridge leads to the Canfor mill and the bridge was closed until it could be inspected amid worries the mill’s operations would be affected.

“The bridge was closed on the weekend to assess the damage,” said Canfor official Michelle Ward. “We had a professional engineer conduct an assessment and the bridge was deemed safe to reopen [July 27],” she said.

The Houston RCMP detachment is investigating and anyone with information is asked to call the detachment at 250-845-2204.

The Portland protests have their originations in the police-involved death of Floyd George in Minneapolis, Minnesota this past May, an event which sparked demonstrations against police violence across the United States.