UPDATE: Fire closes BC Hwy 3 between Salmo and Creston

‘Extreme fire behaviour’ of Blazed Creek fire forces road closure on main southern route to Alberta.

A wildfire burning near Highway 3 about 26 km northwest of Creston, shut down the main southern route to Alberta for several hours on Saturday.

The Blazed Creek Fire has been highly visible from the highway for several days, but the fire situation changed Saturday afternoon prompting the road closure.

Later in the day the closure was changed to a travel advisory from the junction with Highway 6 to the junction with Highway 21.

Drive BC says, “Possible sudden closures due to wildfire activity. Travellers are advised to be prepared for an extended delay or closure.”

A detour is available via Hwy 6 to Nelson, and Hwy 3A to the Kootenay Lake Ferry.

That stretch of highway is already congested however due to the Shambala Music Festival taking place near Salmo.

The lightning-caused fire was discovered Tuesday, August 7.

In the last 24 hours it has grown from an estimated 60 hectares to 500 hectares due to weather conditions including strong winds.

Southeast Fire Centre information officer Ashley Davidoff says the fire is exhibiting extreme fire behaviour.

“BC Wildfire Service recommended the closure of Hwy 3 between Salmo and Creston as power lines and a transportation corridor are in the area,” explained Davidoff.

Ground crews, heavy equipment and helicopters were on scene earlier in the day, but had to be removed due to safety concerns.

“The fire behaviour is too extreme,” said Davidoff. “Once the conditions become suitable again, these crews will again provide response.”

Related: Evacuation order issued for Sheep Creek fire near Salmo

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The Blazed Creek fire was discovered Tuesday, August 7 two kilometers north of Highway 3 and about 26 km northeast of Creston.

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