British Columbia

B.C.'s Highway 3 reopened east of Grand Forks

UPDATE: Highway 3 has been reopened on Wednesday morning.

Route is the main artery between Castlegar and Grand Forks

Smoke billows from a forest fire east of Grand Forks, B.C. The blaze forced authorities to close Highway 3 between Christina Lake and Highway 3B. (Bob Keating)

B.C.'s Highway 3 has been reopened on Wednesday morning, after it was closed Tuesday afternoon just east of Grand Forks because of the Paulson Pass wildfire in the high mountain pass.

The fire on what's known as the Blueberry Paulson has been burning for about a week with no one paying it much attention because B.C. fire fighters were busy in Rock Creek to the west and it was high up in the mountains.

On Tuesday it was down near the edge of the highway, close enough to prompt the province to close the route between Christina Lake and the junction with Highway 3B.

Firefighters are battling the 260 hectare fire using helicopters and buckets, but it's in steep terrain and remains zero per cent contained.

The highway is the only direct route between Grand Forks and Castlegar.

Second time highway closed

Earlier this month, another blaze to the west forced forced Highway 3 to close west of Keremeos.

To the south, another fire also has the City of Grand Forks worried. The Kettle complex or 'Stickpin' wildfire is huge — more than 14,000 hectares and belching smoke.

But it's in the United States, so Canadian authorities need permission to fly over it, and fighting it is not their job.

However, the fire is close enough to Grand Forks that the regional district is preparing an evacuation plan.
 

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