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Banff's Latest News

Posted on: July 31, 2017

Wildfire Update - July 31, 1:15 p.m.

Update from the Town of Banff:
The Town continues to monitor the Verdant Creek wildfire situation and we are working with our partners to ensure residents, visitors and stakeholders are kept up-to-date.

Smoke columns will likely build in the afternoon, followed by settling into valley bottoms in the evening. This pattern is expected to continue while hot, dry conditions persist. Currently there is no smoke advisory.

Important Reminders
  • The Town is not in imminent danger. Parks Canada is confident there is no threat to the community. 
  • Currently (July 31, 2017) there are no highway closures or evacuation orders in Town of Banff due to the fire. 
  • The fire ban continues in Banff National Park and The Town of Banff. 
  • If the situation changes, information for residents will be updated on banff.ca

Don’t wait for an emergency to happen. It is always a good idea to have a family emergency plan in place. Visit banff.ca/emergency for information on emergency preparedness. Register for emergency alerts at banff.ca/notify.


Verdant Creek Wildfire Update from Parks Canada:
Parks Canada continues to cooperatively manage the Verdant wildfire in Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park with BC Parks and BC Wildfire Service.

What’s new
A change in weather conditions resulted in an increase in activity along the northern boundary of the fire late yesterday afternoon. The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Parks Canada is actively working to prevent the spread of the fire. The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure and neighbouring lands remains Parks Canada’s first priority. Parks Canada remains confident that the fire is not a threat to communities at this time. Parks Canada fire management specialists will continue to monitor the situation. The planned burnout operation to manage the spread of the fire to the south-west in Kootenay National Park, was cancelled yesterday due to the change in weather conditions.

What’s closed
To ensure public safety and to facilitate fire management operations, Parks Canada has reinstituted closures in Banff National Park including:
  • Sunshine Village and Sunshine Village Road 
  • All trails in the Egypt Lake area 
  • Healy Pass 
  • Citadel Pass 
  • Sunshine Meadows 
  • Backcountry campgrounds Re16, E13 and E5 

What’s open
  • With the exception of these campgrounds and trails within the area closure, all facilities in Banff and Kootenay national parks are open. 
  • Shadow Lake Lodge and backcountry campgrounds Re6, Re14, and Re 21 remain open. 

What to expect
Warmer temperatures are forecast through the week and will continue to produce increased fire activity. Smoke columns will likely build in the afternoon, followed by settling into valley bottoms in the evening. This pattern is expected to continue while hot, dry conditions persist.

Smoke may affect visibility along highways through and adjacent to Banff and Kootenay national parks. Travellers should check Drive BC and AB 511 for up to date information.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
  • A fire ban remains in effect in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks due to the elevated fire danger and to prevent the possibility of human-caused fires. 
  • It is illegal to fly an unmanned air vehicle (UAV, or drone) in a national park. Flying a drone or UAV during fire management operations is extremely hazardous. It endangers fire management personnel and aircraft, and impedes the important work they're doing. People who attempt to fly drones in these areas can face fines of up to $25,000 under the Canada National Parks Act. 
  • Current Frequently Asked Questions are posted on Banff National Park’s website. 

For more information about Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/mt_assiniboine

FOR CURRENT INFORMATION:
Refer to our website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/securite-safety/feu-fire-verdant and our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Emergencies only: Report wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506
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