Aggressive activity on the Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire prompts closure of a portion of Highway 20 Saturday evening. BC Wildfire Service image.

Aggressive activity on the Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire prompts closure of a portion of Highway 20

Highway 20 is closed in both directions from the Farwell Canyon Road to the Alex Graham Road (600 Road) because of forest fire and safety risks.

Drive BC reports that eastbound remains open to support the egress of communities along the Hwy 20 corridor and that there is no alternate route.

Additionally the Farwell Canyon Road is also closed.

Riske Creek Camp fire information officer Erin Catherall told the Tribune Saturday evening the closure comes after the Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire saw significant activity due to winds and inversions during the day.

“The fire is now estimated at 193,894 hectares and it jumped Highway 20 near the Bald Mountain area,” she said.

There are presently 348 firefighters on site, 86 pieces of heavy equipment and 14 helicopters working on the fire along with additional support staff.

Night operations continue with support from heavy equipment.

On Sunday the area will get southerly southeast winds in the morning which will shift to west, southwest winds in the afternoon, she added.

“We are also expected to receive three mm of precipitation overnight.”

This temporary road closure will help protect public safety and allow firefighters and firefighting equipment to move through this area more easily, she added.

The closure of Highway 20 in that area will remain in effect until further notice.

For more information and updates on the status of Highway 20, please visit: www.drivebc.ca

Travellers are urged to avoid this area, since fire behaviour and weather conditions can change rapidly.

Updates on the Hanceville fire and the status of this road closure will be provided if conditions change.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, go to: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news:

* On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

* On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo