It was a dramatic scene on a mid-island route Monday night when a driver escaped a burning garbage before it burst into flames.

Witnesses captured video of the fire around 5:30 p.m. on the Comox Valley Parkway near Cumberland.

Fire officials said the garbage truck was packed full of cardboard and was travelling along the route from Courtenay when the fire sparked.

The driver was unaware the truck was on fire until he was flagged down by witnesses.

A short while after he got out of the vehicle, a fuel tank exploded.

The driver was not hurt in the incident.

Cumberland Fire Chief Mike Williamson said it's not the first time a vehicle has caught fire on the route.

"Sometimes when you're coming up the parkway here, you get going faster than normal," he said. "You get a good breeze going and anything's hot on your brakes or whatever, we've had a couple incidents before."

Officials closed down the route to traffic for several hours as the vehicle burned, until it was safe to put out.