This photo taken August 17 shows the Kleena Kleene fire’s proximity to Highway 20, visible in the left hand corner (photo courtesy BC Wildfire Service)

Kleena Kleene fire forces evacuations and Highway 20 closure

At present crews are based in Nimpo Lake and are watching the fire activity change everyday

A wildfire south of Highway 20 along Klinaklini River has forced the evacuation of multiple properties in the area and resulted in the closure of Highway 20. An evacuation order for the area north of Kleena Kleene has been expanded as the wildfire is now an estimated 10,006 hectares.

At present crews are based in Nimpo Lake and are watching the fire activity change everyday. The weather, particularly the windy conditions, have kept the crew on their toes.

“The winds keep pushing fire east every day,” said Colette Fauchon, Fire Information Officer. “Every afternoon the winds push it east. It’s cooler up here but there is no precipitation. We reassess the situation everyday, and typically the winds blow up around 3pm to 6pm.”

There is currently 43 firefighters, three helicopters, and 22 pieces of heavy equipment. Air support, heavy equipment, an incident management team and support staff are resources shared within the West Chilcotin Area Command.

Mop up continues along Hidden Valley Rd. and Miner Link Rd. Crews are working to extinguish smokes using equipment.

Drive BC states that Highway 20 is closed in both directions from the intersection of Dowling Road (Kleena Kleene) to 43 kms west. First responders, emergency vehicles and essential services are the only vehicles with 24 hour access. Updated information on highway closures can be found online at www.drivebc.ca