Cassiar Hwy, Yukon + BC – The forest burns

During the whole day my eyes burn and there is an undefined smell in my nose. 20 km before Watson Lake at Cassiar Hwy junction where we want to finally leave Alaska Highway we are getting a shock. A sign informs that Hwy #37 south is closed. My mobile phone doesn’t work here, so I can’t call the highway hotline, and I have to ask in the gas station. The forest fire rages since nearly three weeks, the gas station attendant informs us, temporarily the road was completely closed. Now it was passable with a pilot car in one lane traffic, the convoy ran six times a day. We hear at the road block that the dangerous stretch is 50 km long. After 45 minutes the pilot car is picking us up. In the beginning the forest fire shows a mosaic-like pattern. It smokes here and there, and burnt areas alternate with green expanses. But then smoke becomes thicker and we are passing big areas burnt down. Clearing is pushed at the roadside. Dead trees that threaten to fall on the street have to be felled. I neither envy the loggers nor the pilot car driver that have to spend the entire day in the dense smoke.

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