The wheels of a large tour bus caught fire Friday (7-21-23) in downtown Sitka. 

Just after noon, the Sitka Fire Department responded to a 911 call from Harrigan Centennial Hall reporting that the back tires of a tour bus parked in front of the city’s tourist hub and convention center were on fire. According to a fire department spokesperson, the caller reported seeing flames emanating from the area.

A team of six firefighters responded and found the wheels smoking, and with a little water they quickly extinguished the smolder.

No one was injured in the incident. The bus was taken out of service and an investigation is ongoing. Fire officials suspect the vehicle’s brakes had seized and overheated.

A handful of tour bus companies bring cruise passengers from the privately owned cruise dock to downtown, around six miles one way, multiple times a day. Friday was a comparatively light day for cruise traffic, however. Two ships were in town- the Seven Seas Explorer with capacity of 750 passengers and the Norwegian Spirit with just over 2000.