To keep updated with this wildfire, click here. Weather conditions have been favourable in fighting this fire but remains out of control. If it affects the highway in the future, we will update further. As of August 18.
Fire UPDATE 9 August 15/21: Fire activity on the Pine River wildfire yesterday (August 14) was considerably lower and there was minimal fire growth. Approximately 9 millimetres of precipitation accumulated overnight and low fire activity is anticipated to continue this morning. A cold front moving through the fire centre today is forecasted to bring high winds with gusts up to 70 kilometres per hour to the area, which could increase fire activity later in the day.
Crews and equipment are working today to establish a fire guard along the east side of the fire. Crews are continuing mop up along the south flank. A Structure Protection Specialist is expected to arrive today.
Fire UPDATE 8: Today, (August 14) crews continued to deploy structure protection along Highway 97 and continued to protect wooden power poles in the area. Crews are working to contain the fire to the north side of the highway. Minimal fire growth occurred today.
The Pine River wildfire is currently burning parallel to BC Hydro’s 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line Right-of-Way (ROW). There are three 500kV transmission lines running side by side in the ROW and they are part of the backbone of the provincial transmission grid. The powerlines are supported on large steel towers. If power is lost from one area of the province, BC Hydro can reroute it through another area. For example, if power supply from the Peace region was lost, BC Hydro would increase output from their Columbia region facilities, or other stations elsewhere in the province. A visual inspection of the transmission lines was completed this morning (August 14) and no BC Hydro structures appear to be damaged; however, heavy smoke from the fire did reduce visibility. Another flight is planned for tomorrow morning, August 15. All three 500kV transmission lines are in service at this time. – Released by BCWS
Highway UPDATE 7: DriveBC is reporting that Highway 97 is now OPEN. As of 2:10 PM August 14.
Highway UPDATE 6: Highway 97 in the Pine Pass remains closed. As of 12:08 pm.
Fire UPDATE 5: The Pine River fire is now estimated at 2,000 hectares and is classified as Out of Control. Fire crews from the Fort St. John Fire Rescue and Charlie Lake Volunteer Fire Department have been sent to assist wildfire crews on site. Highway 97 remains CLOSED. More information below from the BCWS…
The Pine River wildfire started yesterday afternoon. Rank 4 and rank 5 fire behaviour resulted in significant fire growth and the fire is now estimated to be over 2000 hectares. Structures were lost yesterday during the rapid fire growth. A major BC Hydro line was impacted. BCWS crews, Structure Protection Crews, and aerial resources responded to the incident yesterday. Crews and Structure Protection personnel worked through the night to deploy structure protection equipment in the area.
Today, August 14, crews are continuing with structure protection for structures along Highway 97 and are continuing to protect wooden power poles in the area. Crews are working to contain the fire to the north side of the highway.
BC Hydro personnel are working in the area to assess impacts to infrastructure.
Highway 97 remains closed between Old Hasler Road and Powder King Road. Please check DriveBC for updates.
Highway UPDATE 4: Highway 97 remains CLOSED. As of 7:45 AM, August 14. Next update around 12 pm.
Fire UPDATE 3: The wildfire is now known as the Pine River fire. It remains out of control and last estimated size was 150 hectares. Ten firefighters and three helicopters attended the flames during the evening on August 13. Air tanker support couldn’t attend due to very poor visibility. – As of 12:00 am, August 14.
Highway UPDATE 2: Hwy 97 in the Pine Pass region will remain closed. Next update from DriveBC is Saturday morning at 8 AM. As of 9:42 pm August 13.
UPDATE 1: A message from the BC Wildfire Service on Twitter… BCWildfire is currently responding to fire # G72591 between #MackenzieBC and #Chetwynd on #BCHwy97. The fire is approx. 150 hectares and is currently burning extremely vigorously. Structures have been lost and additional structures are immediately threatened. The fire has also impacted a BC Hydro transmission line.
Visibility is limited due to the smoke column, and airtankers operations may be impacted. A helicopter and an Incident Commander are on site. Additional resources are en route.
This is an emerging incident. Further info will be provided as it becomes available. #BCWildfire
Motorists be advised that Highway 97 is closed in the Pine Pass near Mt. Lemoray due to a wildfire. Flaggers are on scene. Follow all signage and directions by flagging crews.
There is no detour and you could be turned around by crews. Expect delays.
BC wildfire officials are saying the fire in the Pine Pass is aggressive in nature. The size of the fire is approximately 150 hectares. Structures have been lost. – BC Wildfire Service photo.
Highway 97 Both Directions
Highway 97, in both directions. Forest fire closure between Powder King Rd and Old Hasler Rd for 26.9 km (32 km north of Pine Pass Summit to 44 km south of Chetwynd). The road is closed. Road closed, traffic is being tuned around at both ends of closure on Hwy 97. Hwy is closed from Willow Creek Mine Access to West Pine Rest Area. Next update time Fri Aug 13 at 8:00 PM MST. Last updated Fri Aug 13 at 5:53 PM MST. (DBC-32402)