Fire crews are slowly getting control of the Liard River Fire.

As of Monday afternoon, crews have contained 15 per cent of the fire, east of the junction of the Smith and Liard Rivers, along highway 97.

Fire information Officer Jillian Chimko says the fire is estimated at 13,444 hectares. She says the fire is growing, but much slower.

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Residents from three communities remain on evacuation alert after returning to their homes on Friday.

Those from Coal River, Fireside, and Muddy River Indian Reserve #1 were ordered to evacuate on Thursday.

The Alaska Highway remains open intermittently, but officials are prepared to close it at any time, should the fire switch directions.

Chimko says the air quality in nearby towns is quite poor.

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Officials say lightning is responsible for causing the fire.