Updated: June 11, 2009 at 5am

The communities of Coal River, Fireside and Muddy River First Nation #1 have been evacuated.

The evacuation alert was upgraded Wednesday evening to an evacuation order after the fire became worse from erratic winds, and increased fire behavior.  Residents of the three communities were evacuated to either Toad River or Watson Lake in the Yukon.

Highway 97 has been re-opened after being closed Wednesday afternoon. The highway may still close intermittently between Liard River and Fireside because of fire activity and heavy smoke.  Pilot vehicles are being used in the Liard River area to help get traffic through the forest fire, so expect delays.

For more information regarding the evacuation please contact the Fort Nelson Emergency Operations at 250-774-6124.  Attached is a copy of the evacuation order issued Wednesday evening.

Further information on the status of the Smith River Fire Click Here

Further information on the status of the Alaska Highway can be obtained from the Drive
BC website at www.drivebc.ca