Drivers on B.C.’s Highway 3 are being warned to expect reduced visibility Tuesday due to a wildfire burning in E.C. Manning Provincial Park.
Cameras along the route between Hope and Princeton show heavy smoke and grey skies. Paula Walbauer with the BC Wildfire Service says this is due to the Heather Lake wildfire which originated in the U.S., crossed the border into the park over the weekend, and has since grown to 1,900 hectares.
“We have a lot of smoke that is from last night and has settled along Highway 3 in the corridor there,” she said.
“Today’s smoke that we’re seeing here in the valley is definitely from the U.S. side. I think later today, we’ll see that smoke lift off for sure.”
Campers and day-trippers are still able to access many areas in the park, but some were ordered to be closed over the weekend. Manning Park Resort, which has the capacity to accommodate hundreds in its lodge and campgrounds, remains on evacuation alert.
“While the resort is not immediately threatened, a structure protection unit is working proactively to support the defense of resort facilities,” an update from the wildfire service on Monday said.
Twenty-two firefighters, three helicopters and one piece of heavy equipment have been deployed to try to contain the blaze.
Walbauer says visitors and drivers don’t need to change their plans but urges caution.
“Those who have compromised lungs or their pets they may find that it could be uncomfortable for them today,” she said.
“For those commuters or recreational users along Highway 3, they should be careful and mindful.”
The fire, which was sparked in Washington State’s Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest, is believed to be lightning-caused.