Northern B.C. community evacuated to Yukon due to wildfire

Evacuees are being welcomed in Watson Lake, which itself has several fires burning in the area

Authorities in B.C. have ordered an evacuation of Lower Post, located near the Yukon border, due to a fire burning to the south of the community.

The evacuation was ordered on the afternoon of Aug. 21 and triggered by the growth of the Lutz Creek fire, which is an estimated 4,000 hectares in size and is burning about five kilometres south of Lower Post.

Yukon’s Protective Services said in a tweet Aug. 21 that evacuees will be welcomed at the Watson Lake Recreation Centre.

Watson Lake, which is about 20 kilometres northwest from Lower Post, is dealing with at least two fires burning nearby, although the town is not under threat from the flames.

As of the morning of Aug. 22 the Alaska Highway was closed from kilometre 980 at Watson Lake to the Yukon border.

Smoke is becoming “increasingly visible” in Watson Lake due to the Poison Lake and Iron Creek fires as well as two fires burning near Lower Post, according to an Aug. 20 bulletin from the Yukon’s Wildland Fire Management service, and as of 5 p.m. on Aug. 21, kilometres 30 to 60 of the Robert Campbell Highway were closed to traffic due to fire activity near the roadway.

An evacuation alert is also in effect for kilometres 44 to 60 of the Robert Campbell Highway due to increased activity from the Poison Lake fire.

Recent hot temperatures and dry weather has increased the Poison Lake fire’s activity, the Aug. 20 bulletin says, and with anticipated westerly winds, the fire may continue to impact the Robert Campbell Highway in the coming days. The Poison Lake fire is estimated to be 24,465 hectares in size.

The Iron Creek fire is an estimated 800 hectares in size and is burning in the wilderness about four kilometres north of the Alaska Highway, according to the bulletin. It is currently not threatening the highway or structures in the area, but is “highly visible from the highway,” the bulletin notes.

Meanwhile, in the Southern Lakes region, the Windy Arm fire is an estimated 1,250 hectares in size. A Wildland Fire Management update Aug. 21 said the “highly visible” fire is not a threat to the communities and infrastructure in the area, noting that there’s been “minimal growth” and that air tankers and helicopters have been responding.

Wildland Fire Management fire and public information officer Breagha Fraser said that as of Aug. 21, there are no plans to recall any of the 27 Yukon fire staff who were sent to assist crews in British Columbia with the fires currently burning across the province.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

School Board appoint new chair

James Horne replaces Tina Last, who held the position for 13 years

Rupert dancer heading to Poland for world championships

Dance Academy of Prince Rupert has a dancer competing globally and another won a prestigious bursary

Up to 20 cannabis stores possible in Prince Rupert

City planner said it’s ‘ludicrous’ to expect that many shops downtown

Prince Rupert to celebrate first Métis Awareness Week

Awareness week was proclaimed by Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain on Aug. 23

Wind warning for northwest B.C.

Environment Canada states 80-100 kilometre per hour winds expected until the afternoon

Prince Rupert war graves cleaned

Students from Conrad Elementary School cleaned Prince Rupert wargraves on Nov. 6

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Most Read