Highway 20 is closed in both directions between Corbould Drive and Elsey Rd for 60.2 km – 13 km west of Anahim Lake to 19 km east of Firvale – because of the Young Creek fire inside Tweedsmuir Park.
A detour is not available.
Coastal Fire Centre (CFC) information officer Kimberly Kelly said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed the highway as of 5:30 p.m. between the avalanche gate at Heckman Pass on the Anahim Lake side and the avalanche gate at the bottom of the hill on the Bella Coola side.
“We have had to close the road because we are expecting the fire to reach the highway tonight, hence the closure far ahead of it making its way to that critical infrastructure.”
She said members of the public should check DriveBC for the latest update on the highway closure.
The fire is not being actioned by BC Wildfire Service crews at this time.
“This fire has been demonstrating very aggressive behaviour and the wind has caused the fire to grow quickly toward the highway so it is not safe to action at this time,” Kelly said, noting the fire has grown to 825 hectares Sunday afternoon.
Kelly said the wildfire is not at any risk to property or lives at this time.
A new wildfire was reported Saturday near the Young Creek Bridge, 45 km west of Anahim Lake on Highway 20.
BC Wildfire Service noted Sunday afternoon the Young Creek fire was demonstrating aggressive behaviour and grew rapidly through an area of dead timber to the currently estimated size of 600ha.
“Growth has slowed over the night of the 15th and morning of the 16th.”
With the prevailing winds growth towards the highway is slow and impact to the highway is not likely to occur in the next 24 hours.
While this fire is a high priority for the Coastal Fire Centre, due to its extreme fire behaviour, direct attack is not possible at this time.
BCWS will look for opportunities to establish contingency guards for planned ignitions to protect the highway corridor. Additional resources have been requested for this fire and will be deployed as quickly as they are available.
Cooler and more humid conditions with a small to moderate amount of rain are in the forecast to begin during the night of the 16th or morning of the 17th.
See DriveBC.ca for the latest details on highway closures.