UPDATE: Pine River wildfire grows to 2,000 hectares overnight

UPDATE: As of 2:10 p.m. on August 14th, Drive BC says Highway 97 between Powder King Road and Old Hasler Road …

UPDATE: As of 2:10 p.m. on August 14th, Drive BC says Highway 97 between Powder King Road and Old Hasler Road is now open.

The Pine River wildfire that started Friday afternoon has grown from to 2,000 hectares in size.

The BC Wildfire Service says crews are continuing with protection for structures along Highway 97 and to protect wooden power poles in the area. Crews are also working to contain the fire to the north side of the highway.

Fort St. John and Charlie Lake fire departments have deployed crews to assist with the fire.

Crews and Structure Protection personnel worked through the night to deploy structure protection equipment in the area, according to BCWS.

Structures were lost on Friday during the rapid fire growth and a major BC Hydro line was impacted.

BCWS crews, Structure Protection Crews, and aerial resources responded to the incident on Friday.

Resources on site include 10 firefighters, four helicopters, and Structure Protection personnel.

Highway 97 remains closed between Old Hasler Road and Powder King Road due to the fire.  For updates on when the highway will re-open, visit www.drivebc.ca.

There were reports that no signage of the closure has been seen in Mackenzie or Prince George, which has caused a backup in the Pine Pass. The ministry of transportation says overhead message signs north of Prince George and west of Chetwynd are warning of the closure.

The ministry’s maintenance contractor is also putting up portable message signs on Highway 97 at Bear Lake between Prince George and Mackenzie as an additional advisory to drivers.

The ministry says, for truck operators who weren’t aware of the closure, there is room for trucks to turn around at the closure checkpoints.

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