Fire closes Alaska Highway at Mile 73

The Beatton Airport Road fire. Photo from the BC Wildfire Service.

UPDATE:  As of 8:30 p.m. – The Alaska Highway is now open from Mile 72 to Mile 81. Pilot cars will lead traffic through the area. The Beatton Airport Road is still closed because of a downed power line.

UPDATE:  As of 7 p.m. here the latest info on this fire from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

This fire has crossed the Alaska Highway and is now burning on the west side of the highway. It is moving towards the south.

Crews are currently assessing the situation to determine which areas need to be under an evacuation order and then they will provide that information to the Peace River Regional District. Because of the fluid situation, BCWS has tactically evacuated people who are immediately threatened.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Alaska Highway at Mile 73 has been closed, and no detour is in place just yet. The closure also includes Beatton Airport Road 151 / Mile 73 Road, and Aitken Creek Road.

The BC Wildfire Service is now regarding the Stoddart Fire as part of the Beatton Airport Road Fire as one entity, and have confirmed that it is roughly 10,000 hectares in size.

Fire Information Officer Marg Drysdale says the fire has 106 firefighters,  five helicopters and six piece of heavy equipment working on the fire, with the support of airtankers. She confirmed that crews will be working through the night on this fire.

Drysdale said she couldn’t confirm which direction the fire is moving in at this time. She did confirm that the fire is interface, meaning that it could threaten homes and structures in the area.

For more information on the road closures, the Ministry of Transportation can be reached at 250 927 4637.