Hwy16 west of Burns Lake is now open to traffic following its closure yesterday because of a nearby fire. The closure, near the Decker Lake sawmill, came as the China Nose fire grew in size and intensity.
But cooler weather overnight eased worries. Transportation ministry officials do warn, however, that the highway could close on short notice depending upon fire conditions.
Yesterday’s closure put motorists on a 150 kilometre detour, save for overwidth, overlength and overweight loads which were stopped from using the gravel road.
In the meantime, firefighters are back on the fire line today, added by equipment, in the effort to contain the blaze. About 120 homes remain under an evacuation order.
And residents in nearly 600 homes were placed on evacuation alert because of the fire estimated at more than 4,000 hectares. Increased winds were posing a challenge to firefighters and helicopters battling the blaze.
Telus officials were also worried that the fire might destroy equipment providing data and cell service for the region west of the fire.