UPDATE – The Highway is now open to southbound traffic. Northbound traffic may experience delays and should use the detour on the 269 and 271 roads.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Alaska Highway remains closed after a tanker truck caught fire near the 271 road.

The fire broke out just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, and emergency crews from Fort St. John, Taylor and Charlie Lake responded.

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The RCMP says the tanker truck was travelling southbound on the Alaska Highway when it abruptly left the road and caught fire.

The investigation into the collision is on-going, but the RCMP do not believe another vehicle was involved, but they are looking for the public’s help. If you saw the accident or have dashcam footage, contact the RCMP at 250-787-8100.

The RCMP say they believe the tanker was hauling crude oil.

Officials haven’t said how many people were in the tanker truck or if there were any injuries.

The website Drivebc.ca says the highway could be closed until 3 a.m. Wednesday. The notice posted on Drivebc.ca, say the next update about the highway status, will be posted at 3 a.m.

A detour around the closure is in place using the 271 road and the 269 road.

The Peace River Regional District is advising residents to remain in their homes and to avoid the area while crews work to put out the fire. The fire is under control but producing heavy smoke.

The Regional District also shared the following tips.

To shelter in place follow the guidelines from Emergency Management BC:

– Go indoors and stay there

– Close all outside doors and every door inside the building

– Close all windows

– Do not use kitchen or bathroom vents

– Set thermostats so air conditioners, furnaces and hot water heaters will not come on

– Do not use fireplaces. Close all dampers

– Do not operate the clothes dryer

– Stay in an inside room away from windows and doors if possible

– Reduce or avoid smoking as it contaminates the air

– Do not leave the building until told to

– Stay tuned to local television or radio for information

– Do not use the telephone. Leave the phone lines open for emergency personnel