Alaska Highway re-opens after fuel spill south of Watson Lake

Officials say a fuel truck was carrying about 55,000 litres of fuel, and went off the road in Northern B.C.

B.C. officials say the truck was carrying about 55,000 litres of fuel, and was leaking 30 metres from river

The incident happened at Mile 543 of the Alaska Highway, near Fireside, B.C. (Google)

Traffic is moving again on the Alaska Highway south of Watson Lake, after a fuel spill early Wednesday morning. The highway was closed for several hours with no detours, but by Wednesday afternoon had opened to alternating lanes.

B.C. emergency officials say a tanker truck carrying about 55,000 litres of fuel was punctured and leaking fuel near the Liard River at Fireside, B.C. That's about 135 kilometres down the highway from Watson Lake.

A spill report from Emergency Management B.C. says the incident happened at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

"My understanding is that the tanker truck went off the road late last night. As it went off road, the tanker was damaged," said Watson Lake RCMP Sgt. Kent Langley.

Langley says the truck is about 13 metres off the road, and a "large amount" of fuel appears to have been spilled.

B.C. emergency officials initially reported the truck had overturned, but later said it was not overturned but had been punctured. 

Officials also said there was no report of a leak at first, but several hours later RCMP said the load was in fact leaking. The truck is about 30 metres from the Liard River.

A pump truck was expected on the scene early Wednesday afternoon to empty the tanker. 

B.C. officials say they have notified local emergency coordinators and First Nations. RCMP is reportedly at the site, and fire officials from Fort Nelson, B.C. were on their way early Wednesday afternoon.

B.C.'s environmental emergency response officer also planned to do an overflight Wednesday.