FORT NELSON -- According to B.C. Wildfire service, strong winds are impacting wildfires near Highway 77, close to Fort Nelson.

There are currently winds up to 30 to 40 kilometres per hour in the areas. Winds will pick up to about 50 to 60 kilometres with gusts exceeding 70 kilometres per hour at times. This has led to a wind warning for the area.

Drive B.C. says there’s limited visibility due to thick smoke. Southern winds will increase fire activity and smoke for wildfires in northeastern B.C., including the Fort Nelson River fire just off of Highway 77. Heavy smoke will drift and impact the highway for the next few days.

There’s currently single-lane alternating traffic between Patry Mainline Access Road and Maxhamish Lake Road. The lane is open to essential travel only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

Wildfire crews are also removing dead trees on the roadway. This could lead to occasional closures if necessary.

“There are quite a few fires between the B.C. Northwest Territories border going south down to the Highway 77 and Highway 97 intersection,” says Amy Peltonen, fire information officer for B.C. Wildfire. “Make sure that you're driving with caution if necessary to go through there in areas where visibility is reduced. Be sure to follow your pilot cars, avoid passing and just be aware of areas where highway traffic is reduced down to single lane.”

Drivers are encouraged to check Drive B.C. for the latest information. They can expect delays in both directions.