A storm in northern Idaho and Montana is moving across Canada and dumping wet snow and causing traffic accidents in portions of southern Alberta and B.C.'s southeastern Interior.
The RCMP issued a travel advisory warning about icy and dangerous conditions and closed Highway 93/95 at Eager Hill near Fort Steele, B.C., following a six-vehicle pileup shortly before 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.
At around the same time, a semi-trailer truck slid off the road into a rock face and flipped onto its side, blocking at least one lane on Highway 3 near the Elko tunnel near Fernie, B.C. No injuries were reported.
Highway 3 in the Kootenay Pass near Creston, B.C., was also closed in both directions for some time Saturday morning due to a high avalanche hazard.
Environment Canada issued a "significant snowfall" warning Saturday morning for the East Kootenay and Elk Valley regions in B.C.
"Since last night, Cranbrook has reported eight [centimetres] of snow while areas in the Elk Valley have reported up to 18 cm," the weather office said shortly after 9 a.m. PT on Saturday morning.
"Additional snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 centimetres are forecast for today. The snow is expected to taper off this evening as the system moves into Alberta."
Road conditions have been poor in all the affected areas.
In Calgary, where deep wet snow on hills compounded the problem, police reported 65 motor vehicle collision calls between midnight and 10:15 a.m. on Saturday.
Rock slides and propane fires
Two other highway sections in B.C. were also closed on Saturday.
Highway 16 near Dome Creek, three kilometres east of Slim Creek, remained closed on Saturday, several days after a single-vehicle incident that saw a propane tanker truck slide off the road and down an embankment.
On Tuesday, the tanker flipped over and caught fire at around 10:15 p.m. PT. Two men were inside the truck cab and both escaped. A 31-year-old man from Edson, Alta., suffered minor burns. One propane tank exploded, causing a fireball that could be seen eight kilometres away.
McBride RCMP established a 1.5 kilometre evacuation zone, as the second tanker needed time to "burn off" its fuel.
Closer to Vancouver, a rock slide in the Fraser Canyon closed Highway 1 about 10 kilometres north of Yale on Friday after taking out a Honda Civic and a semi-trailer truck. RCMP reported that there were no severe injuries.
The truck was travelling north when the falling rocks struck it, causing it to jackknife. The truck and rocks ended up blocking both lanes. The truck was also leaking fuel, but the Ministry of the Environment said the fuel had been contained.
Provincial officials decided to keep the highway closed until a geological assessment of stability could be completed on Saturday.