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UPDATE: Crews assessing dangerous goods fire, Connector opens to alternating traffic

(UPDATE: Dec. 31 @ 10:55 am) - The Okanagan Connector is now open to single lane alternating traffic near the Hwy 5A Aspen Grove Junction.

(UPDATE: Dec. 31 @ 10:30 am) - The Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97C) remans closed in both directions just over 30 kilometres east of Merritt.

The highway closed down around 1 am when a commercial truck caught fire right around the Hwy 5A Aspen Grove junction.

"It was determined that the contents of the commercial transport truck were extremely volatile, which prompted the closure of the highway while crews worked to assess the fire for safety," said a statement from the RCMP.

The RCMP added that drivers should monitor DriveBC for the latest information on the closure.

Last word from DriveBC is that the highway could open by 11:30 am.

(Original story: Dec. 31 @ 8:30 am) - The Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97C) remains closed between Merritt and Aspen Grove.

It shut down in both directions earlier this morning due to a dangerous goods vehicle fire.

DriveBC's latest update says the highway could reopen around 11:30 am.

According to one Twitter user responding to DriveBC, however, truckers in the area are saying it likely won’t reopen until this afternoon.

Since the closure is west of the Hwy 5A junction, there is a detour available using Hwy 5A and Hwy 3 if you’re trying to get to the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.

Those trying to travel between the Okanagan and Kamloops area should avoid the Okanagan Connector and head through Vernon.

NowMedia will update this story as more information becomes available.

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