UPDATE #2: Highway 97 will be reopened in both directions at approximately 10:30 PM.
Even though the Highway will be reopened, the evacuation order for the South Taylor Hill will remain in effect and will be reassessed in the morning. Flag persons are on site and pilot cars will move the traffic through the affected areas.
UPDATE: Hydro has been able to restore power to 2,000 customers tonight in the area north of Fort St John. That leaves something around 700 customers out. They hope to have the rest restored Wednesday.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Alaska Highway could open Tuesday night after fire crews have been successful in containing the South Taylor Hill Forest Fire.
That’s the latest update on a fire that saw even more people being evacuated late Tuesday afternoon. The update as of 9 p.m., says the fire is now mostly contained, but two homes were lost to the fire along with many out buildings.
Officials plan to review the current position of the fire and hope to decide tonight if the Highway can be opened or not. When they announce if the highway will open, we will post the details on this website, our live blog and on our Facebook page.
Crews have also made progress on the fire near Charlie Lake along Highway 29. There are only hot spots the Charlie Lake Fire Department is watching. The fire ended up being 250 hectares in size. If things continue to improve, the evacuation order maybe rescinded Wednesday.
The Beatton Airport Road Fire is still a great concern and is now over 4,500 hectares in size. The Regional District has just issued an evacuation alert for the area. You can read more about that here.
The East Pine fire, between Dawson Creek and Chetwynd has jumped the river in the area and is currently 500 hectares.
Power has been restored to the Blueberry First Nation, but there are still 1,700 customers without power. Hydro has made significant progress and still hopes to restore power to many areas Tuesday night. There will still be some areas without power on Wednesday that they will continue to work on.
Even though crews have made progress on the fires that started on Tuesday, eight new fires were discovered today. The Province says that starting Wednesday at noon, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The City of Fort St. John has issued a fire ban as well.
At this time, this is all the information we have about fires in the B.C. Peace. We are still waiting for the Ministry to provide more updates. As that information is shared with us, we will pass it along.