One lane of N.W.T.’s Highway 1 connecting Dehcho communities to Yellowknife and Alberta reopened to traffic at 3 p.m. MT Wednesday after a closure due to heavy smoke from a nearby forest fire.

A pilot vehicle will escort vehicles through the affected area of Highway 1 between the Highway 3 junction to Fort Providence and Yellowknife and the Highway 7 junction to Fort Liard. 

However there is a backlog, so it could take some time to bring people through.

The N.W.T. Department of Transportation said travel is not recommended until the highway is open to all traffic.

Earl Blacklock, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, said they will consider reopening the road if there's no risk of drivers becoming trapped in smoke.

"If there's a solid patch, an extended patch of smoke or even if there's a fire that's close to the highway, then we always opt on the side of safety and ensure that the road is closed and that people aren't put in harm’s way," he said.