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Banff's Latest News

Posted on: August 5, 2017

Wildfire Update from Parks Canada - Aug. 5, 2 p.m.

Parks Canada is actively managing the Verdant Creek wildfire. The fire does not directly threaten any local communities or the Bow and Columbia valleys. Visitors and residents should expect increased smoke as temperatures rise. The north part of the fire has not grown in size and remains on the West side of the Continental Divide.

Along Highway 93 South in Kootenay National Park, winds have brought the southwest part of the fire closer to the road, and carried burning embers, resulting in spot fires on the west side. Parks Canada continues to work to contain these spot fires with crews and helicopters bucketing.

What is new?
Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park is now open, but may be closed without advance notice. There are reduced speed zones, and drivers should anticipate delays and watch for fire fighters working adjacent to the highway. An alternate route is via Highway 1 through Golden and Highway 95 South. Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.alberta511.ca for the most up-to-date information.

Additional backcountry areas have been closed proactively for the safety of the public, to reduce the potential for additional fires and to facilitate fire operations. As of today, August 5, the southern portion of the Rockwall Trail is closed. For a complete list of existing area closures, please check here: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/verdant-fire

What’s closed
To ensure public safety and to facilitate fire management operations, the following areas are closed:

In Kootenay National Park:
Area northwest of Honeymoon Pass Trail including Hawk Creek Trail and Kootenay Park Lodge;
  • Verdant Creek and Simpson River area; 
  • Southern portion of the Rockwall Trail from Floe Lake trailhead on Highway 93 South to Tumbling Pass, including Floe Lake and Numa Creek backcountry campgrounds. 
In Banff National Park:
  • Ball Pass area from junction of Whistling Pass; 
  • Sunshine Village and Sunshine Village Road; 
  • All trails in the Egypt Lake area, including Healy Pass, Citadel Pass and Sunshine Meadows;
  • Brewster Creek area drainage; 
  • Backcountry campgrounds Re16, E13, E5, Su8 and BW10. 
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.

What’s open
  • With the exception of the 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. 
  • The Radium Hot Springs pools, Redstreak Campground, nearby trails and Storm Mountain Lodge remain open as usual, and will not be affected by any temporary road closures resulting from the fire.
Current air quality information can help residents and visitors plan their activities. Here are links to air quality advisories and more information:

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