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Banff's Latest News

Posted on: September 1, 2017

Wildfire Update from Parks Canada - Sept. 1, 3:17 p.m.

Parks Canada continues to actively manage the Verdant Creek wildfire that is burning in Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park using ground crews and helicopter bucketing. The fire does not directly threaten the Bow or Columbia valleys. A significant change in weather along with substantial rainfall is needed for the fire to be fully extinguished.

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 new:
Increased fire activity yesterday afternoon has caused the Verdant fire perimeter to increase in size along the remote southeastern area of the fire. Parks Canada continues to work with the BC Wildfire Service in managing this fire. A revised fire size will be provided when available.

Fire readiness
On Thursday, August 31, at approximately 7:30 am, smoke was reported four km south of Crooks Meadows campground in Kootenay National Park and approximately 20 km south of the Verdant fire. Initial attack crews and a helicopter with bucket responded to the fire in less than an hour and made good progress containing the fire. The new fire is estimated to be 0.5 ha at this time and is not considered to be a threat to people or facilities.

Also on Thursday, August 31, at approximately 4:00 pm, smoke was reported near the west end of Bow Lake in Banff National Park. An initial attack crew and two helicopters were immediately dispatched to the fire and continue to work to contain the fire which remains very small, approximately 0.5 ha. The area has been closed for safety reasons, see details below. This fire was caused by an illegal campfire.

Parks Canada continues to maintain the capability to respond to all new fire starts in the national parks. We currently have two initial attack crews and two helicopters ready to respond. We also maintain the ability to bring in additional resources as required.

What is closed:
The following fire-related closures are in place:

In Banff National Park:
  • **NEW – the Bow Glacier Falls trail and Bow Hut access route, including a nearby portion of Bow Lake and lakeshore. This closure is anticipated to be removed by Sunday, Sept 3. 
  • Fatigue Creek Trail, Fatigue Pass, Citadel Pass Trail and backcountry campground Su8 
  • Ball Pass Trail from west of Re21 to the Park Boundary and Re21 
  • Redearth Pass Trail east of Egypt Lake Warden Cabin, including trail to Talc Lake 
In Kootenay National Park:
  • Area northwest of Honeymoon Pass Trail including Hawk Creek Trail 
  • Verdant Creek and Simpson River area 
  • The South western portion of the Vermilion valley 

FOR CURRENT INFORMATION:
For current area closures and air quality information, refer to our website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/verdant-fire and our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Highway 93 through Kootenay National Park may be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities. Drivers should check http://www.DriveBC.ca and http://www.alberta511.ca for the most up-to-date information. When Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park is open, it is a safe route to the Columbia Valley. Should it be impacted by smoke or fire behaviour, alternate routes, such as Highways 1 and 95 through Golden, BC, add only approximately one additional hour of driving time.

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

NOTE: Further updates will be provided only when there are significant changes such as notable fire growth, changes to area closures and anticipated increase in fire activity that may impact visibility and driving conditions.
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