North

Wildfire near Beaver Creek forces campground evacuation, temporary Alaska Highway closure

A wildfire that started near the Beaver Creek area Saturday forced an evacuation of the Snag Junction Campground and the temporary closure of parts of the Alaska Highway.

After 6-hour closure Saturday, Alaska Highway near Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay reopened

The new wildfire near Beaver Creek, Yukon, is estimated at 617 hectares as of Sunday afternoon, according to Yukon Protective Services. (Submitted by Murray Lundberg)

A wildfire that started near Beaver Creek, Yukon, on Saturday forced an evacuation of a nearby campground and temporarily closed parts of the Alaska Highway.

The highway near Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay was closed for six hours on Saturday. It has since been reopened, but officials warn that roads can close with short notice depending on the fire conditions.

Snag Junction Campground was evacuated.

The fire is running parallel to the highway and is estimated at 617 hectares as of Sunday afternoon, according to a social media update from Yukon Protective Services.

"Black and grey smoke is highly visible in the area," said the Yukon Protective Services update.

Crews fought the fire with air tankers and a helicopter on Saturday and will continue to try and suppress the wildfire, states the update.

As of Sunday, the fire is burning away from Beaver Creek and the highway, heading northeast toward White River.

Officials say the community is not under an evacuation order at this time.

This wildfire is one of three new fires identified in the last 24 hours, according to the Yukon Wildfire map. The two others are near the Wellesley Lake area and are not a threat to communities, according to the map.

There are currently 27 active fires in the territory, according to Yukon Wildfire.

An air quality advisory for all Yukon communities was put in effect earlier this week.

A special air quality statement was issued for Whitehorse Sunday afternoon, as "elevated pollution levels are expected or occuring," according to an Environment Canada release.

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