Heavy rain is forecast for parts of the B.C. Interior, prompting the proactive closure of part of the Trans-Canada Highway due to the risk of landslides.
The Ministry of Transportation has announced that Highway 1 between Lytton and Spences Bridge will close starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17. The area was severely affected by wildfires earlier this summer, and debris flows are a post-fire hazard that can be triggered by intense rainfall.
Weather forecasts for Lytton and the surrounding area indicate that significant rainfall is on the way, and drivers are advised that northbound traffic will be redirected to Highway 5 or Highway 3. Southbound traffic on Highway 1 will be diverted at Cache Creek.
Post-fire landslides have already resulted in one lengthy closure of Highway 1 in the area, in mid-August, which impeded the evacuation of residents in the Lower Nicola area.
The ministry warns that additional provincial roads and highways may be affected by landslide events. Drivers should expect to encounter debris along any burnt areas and are advised to plan alternative routes, as further closures may happen with limited notice.
Motorists travelling through areas affected by wildfires are asked not to stop during rainfall events. For their safety, and to ensure firefighting efforts or road-maintenance activities are not impeded, drivers are asked to travel directly to their destinations and not stop along the highway.
The ministry will be continuously monitoring the weather throughout the day, and will provide updates as conditions change. The next review of the situation is scheduled for noon on Saturday, Sept. 18.
For the most up-to-date information, go to www.drivebc.ca.