Weyburn Fire Services last week responded to a call of a vehicle on fire. However, it was out by the time they arrived.

Fire Chief Trent Lee said there are several factors that could cause that to happen, including lack of ventilation, and lack of fuel.

"It depends on the manufacturer, and what they're using for all the different components underneath the hood," explained Lee.

"There is a limited amount of combustibles, and if one item does catch fire, and it doesn't produce enough heat to cause the item next to it to ignite, then the fire will smolder and eventually go out."

He said a lot of vehicle fires they respond to are 'fully involved'.

"Depending on what the cause of the fire is, or how well or how much it burns, a lot of vehicle fires are created by arch electrical cables coming from the battery, so usually you get electrical fires on the vehicles or or the battery overheats and catches fire. So you have lots of a fuel load there, which in turn will create a bigger fire."

"Some vehicle fires are created by leaking valve covers, so it's only a little bit of oil residue that ignites and catches fire and usually burns off pretty quick depending on how much of a leak is on that engine."

It's not like in the movies, though, and your vehicle likely will not explode.

"It's very seldom now when we see a vehicle do that type of explosion that we see in the movies that are produced in Hollywood," Lee commented. 

"If there is ignitable liquids spilled on the ground then the fire will spread a lot faster and in more directions than if it was just a fire that started underneath the hood due to a logical concern or fuel leak."

There are still lots of other dangerous things on vehicles that can heat up and injure people.

"The gas struts [that keep our hood open or or trunk lid open] are known to, once they heat up separate, and shoot like a missile. Tires will often make bangs when they they heat up and blow, so it sounds like a shotgun going off."

What do you do if your vehicle catches fire?

"Get back. Keep the doors and windows closed, keep the hood closed, be at a safe distance away from the vehicle, because the smoke is very toxic," he noted.

"Call 9-1-1, and we will respond and deal with it with appropriate PPE on our firefighters."