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

Tofino shops set to sparkle during weekend’s Jingle Into Christmas celebration

“It’s like a family reunion. It’s nice to see the locals’ faces.”

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

Surfrider Pacific Rim hopes unique wetsuit recycling program stays local to the Coast

“We really want to see someone locally or regionally take this on and use this material locally.”

Residents push back against renaming Ucluelet Secondary School

“We are just fine thanks, put the money into our children’s education.”

Local businesses step up in light of Christmas tree shortage in Tofino and Ucluelet

“I’m one of those ones where I’m really tenacious and I don’t like letting people down.”

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read