COURTENAY -- Some vacationers on Vancouver Island had their holiday plans abruptly cut short Thursday when a fire destroyed their travel trailer near Oyster River.

The fire was discovered around 6:45 p.m. as the unit was being pulled northbound along the Inland Island Highway just south of the Hamm Road intersection. 

Deputy Fire Chief Chris Murray says the trailer was being consumed as firefighters arrived on scene.

"When we got here it was fully engulfed. Flames were coming out about 10 or 15 feet above the trailer itself," Murray said.

"When we showed up there was no vehicle attached to it, they had already gone around and parked on Hamm Road."

He said there were four propane tanks on the unit, as well as a couple of quads in the back, all of which resulted in explosions.

"We just had to stay back quite a little bit farther," Murray said. "We pretty much just cooled the propane tanks first and then started hitting the trailer itself."

A Good Samaritan flagged the owners down to let them know their trailer was on fire, Murray said. He's not sure whether anyone tried to attack the blaze before firefighters arrived.

"We're just happy that nobody was in the trailer and that everyone got out safe," he said.

Northbound traffic was shut down for just over an hour while crews battled the blaze and dealt with the cleanup.