Anchorage, (KTUU) Highways connecting Alaska to the lower 48 have been affected by dangerous wildfires burning in British Columbia.
On Thursday sections of both Highway 1 and Highway 97 in the Canadian province were closed in both directions, with the exception of emergency vehicles and first responders. The latest updates Thursday afternoon provided no estimate for when they might reopen.
“In most areas there is the ability to get into most areas that aren’t evacuated. We do have highway 24 open which can access the central part of highway 97 corridor,” said Norm Parks with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The B.C. Wildfire Service says 22 wildfires of note are burning with 14 threatening communities.
“The estimated number of evacuees has increased to 16,250,” said Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek.
The Alaska Division of Forestry cautions anyone planning to drive to or from the lower 48 to be prepared to be stranded.
“Especially if you’re going to be traveling in an area like that make sure you carry extra resources in your car. Whether it be water or sleeping bags, camping gear, because you may get stuck somewhere for a considerable amount of time. It could be a day or days,” said Public Information Officer Tim Mowry.
The latest updates on the British Columbia fires can be found here.
The latest road conditions can be found here.