Key highway connections between Alberta and B.C. re-opened after fire, collision force closure

Two key routes between Alberta and British Columbia closed Wednesday morning because of wildfire smoke and a serious collision have now re-opened, however heavy congestion should still be expected.

Highway 93 back open between Castle Junction and Radium, Highway 1 near Golden re-opens after earlier closure

Kim Kargus took this photo of a forest fire burning along Highway 93 South on Tuesday night. The route was closed Wednesday morning between Castle Junction and Radium Hot Springs. (Kim Kargus)

Two key routes between Alberta and British Columbia that closed Wednesday morning because of wildfire smoke and a serious collision have now re-opened. However, heavy congestion should still be expected. 

Highway 1 was closed in both directions for several hours because of a serious collision 25 kilometres east of Golden, B.C.

By about 10 a.m. MT, the route re-opened to single-lane, alternating traffic and both lanes had re-opened by noon.

But motorists were still being cautioned to expect "long delays due to heavy congestion," the DriveBC website said.

Highway 93, meanwhile, was closed in both directions, from Castle Mountain Junction in Alberta to Radium Hot Springs in B.C., because of forest fires in the area, according to DriveBC.

It was re-opened about 10 p.m., DriveBC said on social media. 

Brian Maves and his wife, who drove from Radium back to Alberta on Tuesday night, said at some points the smoke made driving difficult. As they drove farther north, the fire was clearly getting closer to Highway 93.

"It was hard to see the cars coming," he said. "As we got past, to a visible vantage point of the fire, we could see that it was really raging out of control."

Officials closed Highway 93 between Radium Hot Springs and the Alberta-British Columbia border because of the wildfires burning in the area. (Alberta Transportation)

More than 130 fires are burning across B.C., and about 6,000 people remain displaced because of evacuation orders.

The Verdant Creek wildfire burning in Kootenay National Park and B.C. Assiniboine Provincial Park has forced Sunshine Village in Alberta to be evacuated for the second time in as many weeks.

Fire crews are now using the resort as their command centre.