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

Watermains flushed to help downgrade Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

City crews try to clear possible debris resulting in milky or discolouration of water

Author warns of dangerous goods being carried by rail

Bruce Campbell wrote book on Lac-Mégantic disaster

LaFrance and Repole team win in sturling showdown

Prince Rupert Curling Club hosts Fisherman’s Sturling Spiel on Jan. 20 with 17 teams

Environment Canada warns of strong winds Monday

Monday ferry sailing from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii has been cancelled

‘Avalanche Awareness Days’ emphasize backcountry safety at Shames

Skeena Bar and Shames Mountain Co-op held events this past weekend

Cheng 2 Duo wows Lester Centre crowd

Sibling performers gave a virtuoso performance on Jan. 18 in Prince Rupert

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with taxpayers’ money

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Most Read