The highway connecting Alberta and the NWT remained closed for most vehicles Thursday afternoon due to wildfires in the Steen River area.

“The highway has not yet opened for all vehicles,” stated Greg Hanna, spokesperson for the GNWT Department of Infrastructure in an email at 2:31 MST, Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the department tweeted that only northbound commercial vehicles with essential goods and services were being allowed between High Level, Alta. and Enterprise.

Wednesday’s closing 

The highway had been closed all day Wednesday due to wildfire. The out of control blaze stretches over 17,419 hectares and blocks the way of people and goods going both north and south.

The Department of Infrastructure announced the closure on Tuesday.

Some store owners in Yellowknife said this week that they don’t expect shortages as a result of the highway closure as many of their suppliers have rerouted through British Columbia.

A Yellowknife Co-op post on Facebook stated that a truck on Tuesday arrived as scheduled and there is currently no danger of shortages.

At Glen’s Independent, the situation is “good so far,” said store owner Glen Meek. Delays are possible as a result of the fire, but trucks are stilled scheduled to arrive Thursday, he said.

Speaking to Yellowknifer, a spokesperson for Rig Logistics — one of the companies that supplies Yellowknife from Alberta — said it has had to reroute its trucks through B.C.

Other drivers in the company, who are hauling dry goods, are “sitting” as the situation develops on the route north.

The company plans to handle the situation on a day-to-day basis, said the spokesperson.


Nick Pearce

Nick Pearce is a writer and reporter in Yellowknife, looking for unique stories on the environment and people that make up the North. He's a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied Global Development...

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