Mill Bay mall fire closes Trans-Canada Highway

At least one building was destroyed Friday afternoon as firefighters rushed to a large fire at the vacant Pioneer Square Mall in Mill Bay, B.C.

Flames and heavy smoke were visible from a nearby stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway before 1 p.m.

The highway was quickly closed to traffic as firefighters staged trucks on the roadway at the intersection with Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road.

The highway remained closed to traffic in both directions for several hours, reopening to northbound traffic around 6 p.m. and in both directions around 6:30, according to DriveBC.

Multiple fire departments responded to the scene with several trucks that were bringing in water from another location.

The Cowichan Valley School District said it is "monitoring the situation" in a statement on its Twitter page. The school district said students and their guardians should "expect delays in busing due to re-routing."

**CLOSED** #BCHwy1 @ Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Rd due to a structural fire. Expect Major Delays . Detour in effect Via Cobble Hill Rd to Shawnigan Lake Rd. Oversized vehicles need to take W.Shawnigan Lake Rd. #ShawniganLakeBC #MillbayBC @DriveBC

— Emcon Services Inc., South Island Division (@EmconSouthVI) May 27, 2022