Lanes on the Sea to Sky highway north of Horseshoe Bay will remain closed for several more days to allow for the removal of hazardous trees caused by a now-controlled wildfire in the area.
The fire broke out early Sunday morning near Strip Creek, between Lions Bay and Horseshoe Bay, and has stretched more than four hectares.
In a release on Tuesday morning, the Province said there were a number of trees adjacent to the highway that needed to be removed before the northbound highway lanes could be safely reopened to traffic.
In the meantime, all northbound lanes between Ansell Place and Ocean Point Road are closed, with northbound traffic diverted into one of the southbound lanes.
REMINDER - #BCHwy99 #SeaToSky NB lanes closed North of #HorseshoeBay due to forest fire. NB traffic is being diverted to a SB lane at Ansell Place. One lane open for each direction. #WestVan #BCWildfire— Drive BC (@DriveBC) June 25, 2019
Info here: https://t.co/5M5yBOYXjY
BC Wildfire Service is declaring the fire to be human-caused, though officials have yet to determine how the blaze was triggered. Marg Drysdale, fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, said classifying the fire as caused by a person also encompasses equipment-caused fires.
Drysdale said officials were also examining the possibility that a downed power line could have sparked the blaze.
“The cause is under investigation,” Drysdale said.
Up to 50 firefighters battled the blaze on Sunday, according to Metro Vancouver Regional District Emergency Services.
Drysdale said the province sent 29 firefighters and helicopters to assist on Monday and the blaze was 100-per-cent contained by the afternooon. Firefighters returned on Tuesday morning to battle the now-controlled ground fire.
“There’s no helicopters on that fire today. It’s going to be all ground work,” Drysdale said, explaining the cooler temperatures should help firefighters extinguish the blaze.
There is no threat to residents.
Travellers should expect congestion in the area and are asked to slow down, use extra caution and allow for additional time.
--- With files from Jennifer Thuncher and Steven Chua / Squamish Chief and Jeremy Shepherd / North Shore News