June 23, 2019 11:15 am
Updated: June 24, 2019 3:11 pm

Wildfire sparks off Sea to Sky Highway north of Horseshoe Bay

Fire crews battling the Strip Creek fire north of Horseshoe Bay are hoping the cooler weather will help them get the upper hand on the blaze. Neetu Garcha has the latest.

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Crews are still fighting a wildfire on the Sea to Sky Highway on Monday morning.

The BC Wildfire Service said they got the call around 3 a.m. Sunday, and crews arrived around an hour later after local fire departments responded to calls from residents.

READ MORE: Air tankers battle wildfire burning near Port Mellon, B.C.

Coastal Fire Centre Fire Information Officer Donna Macpherson said the fire is “relatively small.”

“It’s three hectares, what we call a low intensity ground fire that’s in the cliffs above the highway,” she said Sunday.

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“Right now we have seven crew people and three helicopters working on the fire,” said Macpherson. “We suspect the fire at this point was caused by a power line.”

Five fixed-wing planes were also dispatched to dump water on the flames.

READ MORE: After series of ‘exceptional’ summers, Metro Vancouver urges residents be ready for smoke

Macpherson said the flames are moving up the steep slope and fire crews do not have any containment on the blaze due to the difficulty of the terrain.

By the evening, the fire was still zero per cent contained. Crews were hoping a change in the weather, including rain, would help in the fire fight.

Metro Vancouver Emergency Services says the fire is not posing a risk to residents.

Smoke could be seen off the Sea to Sky Highway, just north of Ansell Place, which is located north of Horseshoe Bay.

Drive BC said the highway was closed northbound between Horseshoe Bay and Lions Bay, but northbound drivers were being rerouted into the southbound lane at Ansell Place, leaving one lane for each direction.

On Monday morning, the road was still restricted to two lanes for safety, according to Metro Vancouver Regional District Emergency Services.

The District of North Vancouver Fire Department said the area is in a high fire hazard right now.

WATCH: (Aired June 21) Squamish mayor on Sea-to-Sky wildfire evacuation plan

The latest wildfire danger rating from BC Wildfire Service shows the Sea to Sky corridor is at a “high” to “extreme” rating as of Saturday.

More than 70 customers were without power in the area since 3 a.m. because of the fire, according to BC Hydro.

By the afternoon, that number was brought down to fewer than five, and those customers were told they may not have power back until midday Monday.

—With files from Grace Ke

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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