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UPDATE: Highway 20 opening for essential travel only on Bella Coola Hill Monday, July 17

There will be three openings with a pilot car
The Young Creek fire in Tweedsmuir Park has grown to 2,500 hectares on Monday, July 17. This is a photograph of the fire taken Sunday, July 16. (Marlene King photo)


A re‐opening for essential traffic only is planned to begin this afternoon, Monday, July 17, with single lane alternating traffic. It is possible that the highway may close again if conditions warrant.

There will be three openings with a pilot car this afternoon at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. from the Firvale side and from 3, 5 and 7 p.m. from the avalanche gates near Anahim Lake.

The road will be closed overnight.

Details are available at

Today there are 28 personnel assigned to the fire and an additional unit crew of 22 will be en route over the next 48 hours, the Coastal Fire Centre said in its Monday update on the fire.

One helicopter and heavy equipment are assisting firefighters today.

Heavy equipment has begun work on the construction of a contigency guard along the south flank of the fire with the goal of limiting any impact to transportation corridors.

Cooler and more humid conditions with a small to moderate amount of rain are in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday.


The Young Creek fire in Tweedsmuir Park has grown to 2,500 hectares as of Monday, July 17 and Highway 20 remains closed as a result.

DriveBC reported at 12:13 p.m. Monday the next update will be Tuesday, July 18 at 10 a.m.

Reported in the afternoon of July 15, the Young Creek fire demonstrated aggressive behaviour and grew rapidly through an area of dead timber.

On the afternoon of July 16 a shift in the wind caused the fire to grow quickly towards Highway 20 crossing it that evening. As of July 16 Highway 20 has been closed by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure between Elcy Road on the Anahim Lake side and the avalanche gate at Corbould Dr. on the Bella Coola side.

See DriveBC for more detail and the latest information on highway closures.

People who are in need of services should call 1-250-982-0062 for help in the Bella Coola Valley.

An Emergency Support Centre (ESS) Reception Centre was set-up (Sunday evening, July 16) at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex in Williams Lake (525 Proctor St) for those who may be stranded and unable to return home due to the Highway 20 road closure.

“If you require emergency support services, please call 250-267-4861 prior to checking in at the Reception Centre,” notes the CRD EOS.

READ MORE: Aggressive wildfire crosses road; closes Highway 20 to Bella Coola

With files from Angie Mindus

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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