UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Travellers on Highway 3 between Salmo and Creston may want to find an alternative route to their destination.

The highway was closed to traffic over the Kootenay Pass on Friday morning due to heavy smoke and debris from the Blazed Creek wildfire.

Later in the morning the road was reopened to single lane alternating traffic. DriveBC reports possible delays up to 20 minutes — dependent on weather and fire behavior. Travellers should be prepared for unscheduled delays or closures.

Because of the delays, high traffic volumes are possible at the Kootenay Lake Ferry Terminals throughout the day.

The fire is burning approximately 20 km west of Creston.

The 5600-hectare fire has not grown dramatically in size this week, but its proximity to Highway 3 and a major power line remains a concern.

“Crews along with heavy equipment and air support are working to protect critical infrastructure,” according to the Southeast Fire Centre. Ten firefighters, a helicopter and five pieces of heavy equipment are on the scene.

An alternative route is over the Kootenay Lake ferry and along the east shore of Kootenay Lake via Hwy 6 and 3A.

Check www.drivebc.ca for the latest closure information.

To the east of the Creston Valley, the communities of Yahk, Meadow Creek Road and Highway 3/95 are under an evacuation alert.

For more information on this alert, call the RDEK at 250 426-2188 or visit their website at rdek.bc.ca.