Skip to content

Update: Bella Coola Hill Highway 20 remains closed overnight, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 24

Young Creek fire now grown to 3,660 hectares as of July 23
33384635_web1_230723-CMA-Fires-Highway20_1
Since Sunday July 16, the Bella Coola Hill on Highway 20 has been closed, with some limited pilot-car led convoys due to wildfires. (DriveBC image)

Update:

On Sunday evening, July 23, DriveBC notes Highway 20 will be closed overnight on the Bella Coola Hill, but open both ways on Monday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The highway could still close without warning, according to DriveBC.

The next update will be Monday, July 24 at 9 p.m.

Original:

The Young Creek fire, discovered Saturday, July 16, has now grown to 3,660 hectares as of Sunday, July 23.

On Sunday, DriveBC notes that piloted convoys will be happening as the Highway 20 closure continues for 60.2 km (13 km west of Anahim Lake to 19 km east of Firvale).

A piloted convoy will depart westbound leaving the avalanche gate at Beeftrail FSR at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and eastbound leaving Corbould Dr. Avalanche gates at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The convoy may be cancelled without warning and the next update will be 9 p.m. Sunday, July 23.

Please check DriveBC.

With one road in and out of the the Bella Coola Valley, Highway 20 closures affect the community almost immediately, said Central Coast Regional District chair Jayme Kennedy.

“I would like to remind all residents not to engage in buying more groceries or essential supplies than they need for themselves and their families during highway closures.”

Kennedy encouraged everyone to practice consideration and empathy towards one another, working as a united front to support each other through wildfire season.

A week ago Sunday, Highway 20 was closed on the Bella Coola Hill because of the Young Creek Wildfire.

Beginning Monday there were pilot-car led convoys going from either side during the day.

On Friday, July 21, a convoy of essential supplies, including food and mail trucks, successfully entered the valley alongside approximately 50 other vehicles.

“The highway remains closed for safety reasons and the scheduling of the piloted convoys is currently uncertain due to safety concerns, which adds to the prevailing sense of uncertainty,” Kennedy said.

Closures of the highway have also negatively affected the tourism industry in the area.

“Although our tourism operators are resilient, they have been dealt one hard blow after another in recent years and even a few days of lost business and uncertainty hurts.”

On Friday evening an evacuation alert was put in place for the community of Anahim Lake due to the Trumpeter Mountain wildfire and the evacuation of two properties.

As of Saturday evening the Trumpeter Mountain fire had grown to 4,616 ha.

READ MORE: Community of Anahim Lake put on evacuation alert due to growing wildfire

Kennedy said the CCRD emergency services continues to be working other EOCs to ensure efforts are coordinated and that safety is prioritized.

“In the Bella Coola Valley, the EOC has been providing and will be providing, on a case-by-case basis, temporary accommodation for stranded visitors. Stranded visitors are to call 250.982.0062 to register.”



monica.lamb-yorski@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter



Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
Read more