Highway 97 at 83 Mile has been closed Wednesday, July 14 due to a forest fire. (DriveBC map)

Update: Highway 97 open, limited visibility from Big Bar Lake Road to 94 Mile: Drive BC

Flat Lake wildfire now estimated at 8,725 hectares

Update: 8:48 a.m. July 15

Highway 97 has reopened but DriveBC is warning of limited visibility with smoke between Big Bar Rd and 94 Mile Frontage – five km south of 100 Mile House to 7 km north of Clinton – due to the Flat Lake wildfire.

A travel advisory is also in effect due to the fire, estimated at 8,725 hectares. DriveBC said future closures are possible with “very limited notice.”

Update: 10:28 a.m.

Highway 97 is now closed in both directions between Big Bar Lake Road and Montessa Drive due to the Flat Lake wildfire, which has grown to 2,000 hectares overnight.

According to DriveBC, the closure is in effect from seven kilometres north of Clinton to 17 kilometres north of 70 Mile. Limited visibility with smoke are reported.

The southbound alternate route is via Highway 24 to Highway 5, while northbound traffic should take Highway 1 to Hwy 5.

The Flat Lake “fire of note” is located 27 kilometres southwest of 100 Mile and west of Flat Lake. It was discovered July 8 and is suspected to be lightning-caused.

Update: 8:30 a.m.

Highway 97 is again closed Wednesday morning, according to Drive BC. Limited visibility and heavy smoke are reported.

Update: 8:15 a.m.

Highway 97 has been reopened at 83 Mile Road, however a Drive BC travel advisory remains in place due to heavy smoke and poor visibility.

Update: 7 a.m.

DriveBC is cautioning motorists to expect changing road conditions and heavy smoke between 83 Mile Road and Montessa Dr.

Highway 97 remains closed in both directions due to the Flat Lake wildfire.

Southbound alternate route via Highway 24 to Highway 5. Northbound alternate route Highway 1 to Hwy 5.

Original story:

A wildfire has closed Highway 97 just south of 70 Mile House.

The highway is currently closed in both directions at 83 Mile Wednesday (July 14) at 6:30 a.m. due to the Flat Lake fire.

“There is a wildfire at Montessa Drive 16 km north of 70 Mile House,” notes DriveBC.

Estimated time of opening not available. Alternate route via Highway 24 to Highway 5. Next update time 7 a.m.

The Flat Lake fire is located 27 kilometres southwest of 100 Mile and west of Flat Lake. According to BC Wildfire Service’s website, the Flat Lake fire is a wildfire of note, and has grown to about 1,000 hectares since being discovered July 8.

Tuesday evening (July 13), an evacuation alert for the area has been expanded by the Cariboo Regional District for 93 parcels in the Flat Lake area. The alert now covers 9,988 hectares.

Highway 20 in the Chilcotin is also closed in two sections due to out of control wildfires.

More to come.

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Williams Lake Tribune