Forest fires force evacuations, highway closure

Forest fires were predicted to cross the Alaska Highway Thursday afternoon, prompting an emergency closure between Watson Lake and Fort Nelson.

Forest fires were predicted to cross the Alaska Highway Thursday afternoon, prompting an emergency closure between Watson Lake and Fort Nelson.

The fire hasn’t crossed yet and the situation calmed down in the evening, said Fort Nelson city manager Randy McLean.

But the fire did gain 5,000 hectares overnight, and seven people have been evacuated in communities along the highway.

People in Firesire, Coal River and the Muddy River Indian Reserve have been taken to Watson Lake’s recreational centre because of the fire. (James Munson)