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Wildfire forces closure of B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfires: Hope to Merritt Coquihalla closure due to fire risk' B.C. wildfires: Hope to Merritt Coquihalla closure due to fire risk
The wildfire crisis has intensified in the interior with crews battling several out-of-control blazes. Thousands of people are under evacuation orders and alerts and as Andrea Macpherson reports, the Coquihalla remains closed between Hope and Merritt due to wildfire risk ā€“ Aug 16, 2021

A wildfire closed the Coquihalla Highway in both directions Sunday evening between Hope and Merritt.

Drive BC says the best alternate route was by Highway 3 and Highway 5A to Merritt and then Highway 5.

Click to play video: 'Video captures B.C. wildfire burning dangerously close to Coquihalla Highway' Video captures B.C. wildfire burning dangerously close to Coquihalla Highway
Video captures B.C. wildfire burning dangerously close to Coquihalla Highway ā€“ Aug 16, 2021

Its website is also experiencing technical difficulties so some events are not updating correctly, according to the Drive BC Twitter account.

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The wildfire forcing the closure is the July Mountain blaze, estimated at 7,476 hectares.

The fire was out of control, and there has been growth on the south end and the northeast flank, adjacent to the highway, in the past 24 hours.

Click to play video: 'Heat and strong winds stoke B.C. wildfires' Heat and strong winds stoke B.C. wildfires
Heat and strong winds stoke B.C. wildfires ā€“ Aug 14, 2021

Read more: Mount Law wildfire near West Kelowna forces evacuation order, local state of emergency

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The July Mountain wildfire has already forced the evaluation order for 98 properties in Electoral Area “N.”

Anyone travelling in this area is being asked to check Drive BC before heading out as situations may change at any time.

The B.C. government said Sunday that as fire conditions can change quickly, drivers should be aware that provincial highways may close with limited notice.

Non-essential travel to and within fire-affected areas is discouraged to help avoid traffic congestion on evacuation routes.

If anyone must travel on Interior highways adjacent to wildfires, they are asked to be prepared for possible delays or closures. Travel with a full tank of gas, food, water and other emergency supplies.

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