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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Wildfire Information - August 16, 2018

Parks Canada Map of Wardle Fire Aug 15, 2018Updated August 16, 2018
**There are no significant changes since the August 15 update, although some additional information is provided.**

There are no wildfires currently burning in Banff National Park that present a risk to the public or infrastructure.

The Province of British Columbia has declared a state of emergency due to wildfires. The state of emergency enables coordination of federal, provincial and local resources to protect the public during the management of 566 wildfires in B.C., with 29 evacuation orders.

With prevailing winds from the west, and more than 500 fires burning in British Columbia, Banff continues to experience smoky conditions, which affects air quality and visibility. The current long-term forecast for hot and dry weather is expected to continue over the next few days and may increase wildfire activity.

A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.
Highway 93 South remains open, with intermittent closures due to wildfire activity.

Wildfire:
Banff National Park:
  • Parks Canada continues to contain small fires caused by recent lightning strikes.
  • Parks Canada has closed Siffleur River Trail north of the Clearwater Pass junction and the Dolomite Pass Trail North of Helen Lake due to a fire in the area.
  • A fire ban remains in place for all of Banff National Park.
  • On the weekend, a lightning strike ignited a small wildfire on the west end of Mount Rundle. Parks Canada crews responded to it quickly and it was extinguished early yesterday. 
  • Also on Saturday, a lightning strike ignited a small wildfire in the Brewster Creek area. This fire has been responded to by helicopter and initial attack crews and does not pose a threat to public safety or infrastructure. 
    • To date in the 2018 season, the Banff Field Unit has responded to, and successfully suppressed six lightning-caused wildfires in the Banff Field Unit. In addition, crews have responded to another 19 human-caused wildfires, for a total of 25 wildfires in the Banff Field Unit in 2018. 
  • People are asked to report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506. 
Wardle wildfire in the Vermilion valley:
  • Most of the smoke in Banff is coming from the large Wardle fire in Kootenay National Park, and other BC wildfires.
  • Parks Canada reports significant progress has been made toward containing the fire.
  • This fire has been held a few days at 3,600 hectares (36 square kilometres), but is not yet listed as under control.
  • 165 personnel are combating the fire, along with 9 helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment.
  • For trail closures due to fire in Kootenay National Park, visit Important Bulletins.
Other BC fires:
  • Cross River Wildfire: The Cross River wildfire in BC, south of Kootenay National Park, is being managed by BC Wildfire Service and is visible from Kootenay Valley Viewpoint. Settlers Road through Kootenay National Park is closed due to this wildfire. 
  • Whitetail Creek Wildfire: The Whitetail Creek wildfire, in the Beaverfoot Valley has entered Kootenay National Park at the western boundary. The fire is estimated to cover 17 hectares. This wildfire continues to be managed by BC Wildfire Service.
  • Ottertail Spot Fire: The spot fire in the Ottertail valley in Yoho National Park has been extinguished. 
  • Kindersley Ridge Spot Fire: The small spot fire on the upper slopes of Kindersley ridge in Kootenay National Park is now extinguished. 
There are smaller fires in Alberta being managed by Alberta Wildfire Service.

Air Quality:
  • Smoke from the wildfires in B.C. have caused Environment Canada to issue a special air quality statement for Banff and surrounding areas. 
  • Alberta Health Services has issued a province-wide precautionary air quality advisory.
    • Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.
    • Monitor your symptoms.
    • Minimize physical activity outdoors.
    • Remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed.
    • If you drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.
  • Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms in smoky air conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.
  • Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 811, to speak to a registered nurse.
  • Residents and visitors who want to avoid smoke-caused personal health issues are encouraged to pursue indoor activities, which often have systems to filter out smoke. 
Road closures:
  • Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park continues to be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities, and is subject to temporary closures to ensure the safety of the public. Check www.DriveBC.ca for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information. 
  • Plan ahead. Travelling between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. MT is recommended. Fire activity is more likely to be reduced during these hours; however, smoke may still affect visibility. 
  • Motorists should be prepared to wait at road blocks intermittently or long-term with little notice. Travellers should be prepared with enough fuel and supplies in case they are required to turn around and take an alternate route via highways 1 or 95.
For Kootenay wildfire updates from Parks Canada, visit Kootenay National Park updates.
For Banff trail, weather and hazard alerts, visit Banff National Park visitor safety.


Updated August 15, 2018

The Province of British Columbia has declared a state of emergency due to wildfires. The state of emergency enables coordination of federal, provincial and local resources to protect the public during the management of 566 wildfires in B.C., with 29 evacuation orders.

Smoke from the wildfires in B.C. have caused Environment Canada to issue a special air quality statement for Banff and surrounding areas.

Alberta Health Services has issued a province-wide precautionary air quality advisory.

A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.
Highway 93 South remains open, with intermittent closures due to wildfire activity.

The Town of Banff is not at risk from wildfire.

Wildfire:
Banff National Park:
  • Parks Canada continues to contain small fires caused by recent lightning strikes.
  • Parks Canada has closed Siffleur River Trail north of the Clearwater Pass junction and the Dolomite Pass Trail North of Helen Lake due to a fire in the area.
  • A spot fire near Saskatchewan Crossing has been extinguished. 
  • A fire ban remains in place for all of Banff National Park.
  • People are asked to report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506
Wardle wildfire in the Vermilion valley:
  • Most of the smoke in Banff is coming from the large Wardle fire in Kootenay National Park, and other BC wildfires.
  • Parks Canada reports progress on containing the Wardle fire in Kootenay National Park.
  • Fire crews are working at the perimeter of the fire and along Highway 93 South to extinguish active fire, limit growth and ensure the safety of the public. 
  • This fire is held at 3,600 hectares (36 square kilometres), but is not listed as under control.
  • 165 personnel are combating the fire, along with 11 helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment.
  • For trail closures due to fire in Kootenay National Park, visit Important Bulletins.

Other BC fires:
  • Cross River Wildfire: The Cross River wildfire in BC, south of Kootenay National Park, is being managed by BC Wildfire Service and is visible from Kootenay Valley Viewpoint. Settlers Road through Kootenay National Park is closed due to this wildfire. Visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status for up to date information on closures and evacuations related to the Cross River wildfire. 
  • Whitetail Creek Wildfire: The Whitetail Creek wildfire, in the Beaverfoot Valley has entered Kootenay National Park at the western boundary. The area within Kootenay National Park is estimated at 3 hectares. This wildfire continues to be managed by BC Wildfire Service. 
  • Ottertail Spot Fire: The spot fire in the Ottertail valley in Yoho National Park is contained. Crews continue to closely monitor the fire for remaining hotspots.
  • Kindersley Ridge Spot Fire: The small spot fire on the upper slopes of Kindersley ridge in Kootenay National Park is now extinguished. 

Road closures:
  • Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park continues to be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities, and is subject to temporary closures to ensure the safety of the public. Check www.DriveBC.ca for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information. 
  • Plan ahead. Travelling between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. MT is recommended. Fire activity is more likely to be reduced during these hours; however, smoke may still affect visibility. 
  • Motorists should be prepared to wait at road blocks intermittently or long-term with little notice. Travellers should be prepared with enough fuel and supplies in case they are required to turn around and take an alternate route via highways 1 or 95.

Air Quality:
  • Alberta Health Services has issued a precautionary air quality advisory for the entire province because of these fires.
    • Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.
    • Monitor your symptoms.
    • Minimize physical activity outdoors.
    • Remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed.
    • If you drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.
  • Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms in smoky air conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.
  • Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 811, to speak to a registered nurse.
For Kootenay wildfire updates from Parks Canada, visit Kootenay National Park updates.
For Banff trail, weather and hazard alerts, visit Banff National Park visitor safety.


Updated August 14, 2018

There are no significant changes to the wildfire situation since August 12.

Smoke blowing into Alberta from wildfires in B.C. have caused Environment Canada to re-issue a special air quality statement for Banff and other areas of the province.
A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park where the fire danger is listed as extreme.
Highway 93 South remains open, with intermittent closures due to wildfire activity.

No local communities are at risk from wildfire.

Further updates will be issued when conditions change.


Updated August 13, 2018

There are no significant changes to the wildfire and weather situation since August 12.

Parks Canada has maintained the fire danger at extreme.
There are no alerts for Banff for air quality, heat or severe weather.
Longer-term weather forecasts suggest a return of hot and dry weather which may increase wildfire activity.
Highway 93 South is open, with intermittent closures due to wildfire activity.
A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.
No local communities are at risk from the Wardle wildfire.


Updated August 12, 2018

Environment Canada does NOT have a heat warning, smoke special air quality statement or storm watch for Banff this evening.
Parks Canada continues to open Highway 93 South with intermittent closures due to wildfire activity.
A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.

No local communities are at risk from the Wardle wildfire.

After a short period of cooler, more humid weather, the long-term forecast is for hot and dry weather which may increase wildfire activity.

Wildfire:
  • Fire crews and heavy equipment continue to work to establish containment lines to help stop the spread of the Wardle wildfire in the Vermilion valley. 
  • 157 personnel are combatting the fire, along with 12 helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment.
  • This fire remains 2,800 hectares and is listed as out of control.
  • Crews are also clearing fire-weakened trees along Highway 93 South and helicopters are intensively water bucketing the fire perimeter. Holding operations have been used on Mount Wardle to remove fuel ahead of the fire, successfully limiting the growth of the fires southward into the Kootenay Valley. Similar plans are in place elsewhere and will be undertaken only under ideal conditions. 
  • Crews and helicopters are responding to a new lightning-ignited 1 hectare spot fire near Saskatchewan Crossing in Banff National Park. This fire poses no risk to visitors or motorists and is expected to be contained quickly. An area closure is in place for Glacier Lake trail and Glacier Lake campground (Gl9). For more information on this closure visit: https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/rec_rep_e.asp?opark=100092 
  • Helicopters are also bucketing on a new small spot fire that was started late yesterday on the upper slopes of Kindersley ridge. This fire is in steep, rocky terrain at treeline, is expected to be contained quickly and poses no risk to local communities. 
  • The 1 hectare Ottertail wildfire in Yoho National Park is contained. Crews continue to work to extinguish it with helicopter support. 
  • The Cross River wildfire in BC, south of Kootenay National Park, is being managed by BC Wildfire Service and is visible from Kootenay Valley Viewpoint. Visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status for up to date information on closures and evacuations for the Cross River wildfire. 

Road closures:
  • Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park continues to be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities, and is subject to temporary closures to ensure the safety of the public. Check www.DriveBC.ca for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information. 
  • Plan ahead. Travelling between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. MT is recommended. Fire activity is more likely to be reduced during these hours; however, smoke may still affect visibility. 
  • Motorists should be prepared to wait at road blocks intermittently or long-term with little notice. Travellers should be prepared with enough fuel and supplies in case they are required to turn around and take an alternate route via highways 1 or 95.

For Kootenay wildfire updates from Parks Canada, visit Kootenay National Park updates.
For Banff trail, weather and hazard alerts, visit Banff National Park visitor safety.


Updated August 11, 2018

A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.
A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Banff.
Highway 93 South is open with periodic closures.

No local communities are at risk from wildfire.

Weather:
  • Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Banff late today.
  • Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.
  • Thunderstorms continue to develop this afternoon with some having the potential to become severe. Thunderstorms will persist until the evening.
  • Large hail can damage property and cause injury. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.
  • Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!
  • Lightning may spark more wildfires.
  • Environment Canada lifted the heat warning for the Town of Banff and surrounding area.
Smoke:
  • Wildfires continue to create smoke in the Banff townsite. 
  • Environment Canada has maintained a special air quality statement that advises people in Banff to be aware of the smoke conditions and take precautions, if necessary.

Road closure:
  • Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park continues to be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities, and is subject to temporary closures to ensure the safety of the public. Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.511.alberta.ca for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information. 
  • When Highway 93 South is open, the portion of the highway from the Paint Pots to Olive Lake is a no stopping zone for the safety of the public and fire personnel. 
  • Plan ahead. Travelling between 7:00am and 2:00pm MT is recommended. Fire activity is more likely to be reduced during these hours; however, smoke may still affect visibility. 
  • Motorists should be prepared to wait at road blocks intermittently or long-term with little notice. Travellers should be prepared with enough fuel and supplies in case they are required to turn around and take an alternate route via highways 1 or 95.

Wildfires:
  • Parks Canada continues to manage the Wardle wildfire in Kootenay National Park.
  •   Additional resources are deployed. 145 personnel are combatting the fire, along with 12 helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment.
  • This fire has grown 150 hectares since yesterday to 2,800 hectares and is listed as out of control.
  • The 1 hectare Ottertail wildfire in Yoho National Park is contained. Crews continue to work to extinguish it with helicopter support. 
  • The Cross River wildfire in BC, south of Kootenay National Park, is being managed by BC Wildfire Service and is visible from Kootenay Valley Viewpoint. Visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status for up to date information on closures and evacuations for the Cross River wildfire. 
  • None of these fires currently pose a risk to local communities.
  • People are asked to report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506. 

Fire Ban:
  • A fire ban is in place for the Town of Banff, and Kootenay, Yoho and Banff national parks due to elevated fire danger, currently listed as extreme. 
  • The fire ban is in place to ensure public safety and protection of infrastructure, Parks lands and wildlife. 
  • There is currently no immediate fire threat to the Town of Banff from wildfires.
  • The fire ban includes all open fires.
  • The fire ban restriction will be lifted as soon as conditions permit. 

For Kootenay wildfire updates from Parks Canada, visit Kootenay National Park updates.
For Banff trail, weather and hazard alerts, visit Banff National Park visitor safety.


Updated August 8, 12 p.m.

Air quality rating has changed since last update.
A portion of Highway 93 South remains closed today due to wildfire adjacent the highway, activity of fire crews, and smoke causing visibility issues.

Smoke blowing into Banff has caused Environment Canada to issue an air quality statement for Banff.
A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.
No local communities are at risk from wildfire.

Smoke:
  • Wildfires continue to create smoke in the Banff townsite. 
  • Environment Canada advises people in Banff to be aware of the smoke conditions and take precautions, if necessary.
    Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.
    People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.
    Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.
  • Smoke conditions can change considerably, hour-by-hour, and over short distances.
  • For health concerns related to smoke, please visit Alberta Health Link or dial 811.

Road closure:
  • A section of Highway 93 South, both directions, remains closed.
  • It will remain closed until it is safe to reopen. Parks Canada evaluates the risk of falling trees onto the highway, anticipated movement of the fire, and smoke that could affect visibility. 
  • Columbia Valley communities remain open for business. The north and south ends of Kootenay National Park are open from Castle Junction to Paint Pots and from Radium Hot Springs to McLeod Meadows including Radium Hot Pools, Storm Mountain and Shadow Lake lodges. 
  • Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.511.alberta.ca for alternate routes and up to date information. 

Wildfires:
  • Parks Canada continues to manage the Wardle wildfire in Kootenay National Park. 
  • 120 personnel are combatting the fire, along with 11 helicopters and two pieces of heavy equipment.
  • This fire has grown to 1,420 hectares and is listed as out of control.
  • Cross River, Whitetail Creek and Porcupine wildfires are being managed by BC Wildfire Service and Alberta Wildfire respectively. 
  • None of these fires currently pose a risk to local communities.
  • People are asked to report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403.762.4506. 

Fire Ban:
  • A fire ban is in place for the Town of Banff, and Kootenay, Yoho and Banff national parks due to elevated fire danger, currently listed as extreme. 
  • The fire ban is in place to ensure public safety and protection of infrastructure, Parks lands and wildlife. 
  • There is currently no immediate fire threat to the Town of Banff from wildfires.
  • The fire ban includes all open fires.
  • The fire ban restriction will be lifted as soon as conditions permit. 
For Kootenay wildfire updates from Parks Canada, visit Kootenay National Park updates.
For Banff trail, weather and hazard alerts, visit Banff National Park visitor safety.


Updated August 7, 1 p.m.

Road closure information has changed since last update.

Highway 93 South was closed at 11:30 a.m. today due to active fire adjacent the highway and smoke causing visibility issues.

A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.
Smoke is diminished today and Environment Canada does not have an air quality statement for Banff.

No local communities are at risk from fire.

Road closure:
  • A section of Highway 93 South, both directions, was closed today by Parks Canada after being open intermittently yesterday. 
  • Motorists currently in transit on the highway are being safely escorted out of the closure area with pilot vehicles. 
  • Parks Canada reports that if fire management actions proceed as planned, Highway 93 South may reopen in approximately 24 hours.
  • The north and south ends of Kootenay National Park are open from Castle Junction to Paint Pots and from Radium Hot Springs to McLeod Meadows. There is no through access.
  • Safety depends on how intense fire activity becomes during the day, how much the fire moves, if smoke limits visibility and if strong winds could cause fire-weakened trees to fall onto the highway. 
  • Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.511.alberta.ca for alternate routes and up to date information. 
Fire Ban:
  • A fire ban is in place for the Town of Banff, and Kootenay, Yoho and Banff national parks due to elevated fire danger. 
  • The fire danger conditions are currently listed as extreme. 
  • The fire ban is in place to ensure public safety and protection of infrastructure, Parks lands and wildlife. 
  • There is currently no immediate fire threat to the Town of Banff from outside wildfires.
  • The fire ban includes all open fires.
  • The fire ban restriction will be lifted as soon as conditions permit. 

Wildfires:
  • Parks Canada continues to manage the Wardle wildfire in Kootenay National Park.
  • Resources combatting the fire include 10 helicopters, two Pieces of heavy equipment, and 100 personnel.
  • A wildfire south of Kootenay National Park, near Cross River, is visible from Kootenay Valley Viewpoint and is being managed by BC Wildfire Service. 
  • The Whitetail Creek wildfire, west of Kootenay National Park in the Beaverfoot Valley continues to be managed by BC Wildfire Service in partnership with Parks Canada. 
  • The Siffleur Wilderness Area wildfire, now referred to as the Porcupine wildfire, north of Banff National Park, continues to be managed by Alberta Wildfire. 
  • People are asked to report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403.762.4506. 

Smoke:
  • Wildfires continue to create smoke in the Banff townsite, but there is no air quality statement for Banff.
  • Smoke conditions can change considerably, hour-by-hour, and over short distances.
  • For health concerns related to smoke, please visit Alberta Health Link or dial 811.

For Kootenay wildfire updates from Parks Canada, visit Kootenay National Park updates.
For Banff trail, weather and hazard alerts, visit Banff National Park visitor safety.


Updated August 6, 5 p.m.

A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Banff and Banff National Park.
Smoke is diminished today and Environment Canada lifted its air quality statement for Banff.

Road closure:
  • Highway 93 South was opened intermittently yesterday and today to allow traffic through.
  • Parks Canada reports it is likely that fire operations will close Highway 93 South with no through access at noon, Tuesday, August 7. If needed, this closure may last for approximately 24 hours. 
  • Parks Canada opened the highway when it was safe to do so. Safety depends on how intense fire activity becomes during the day, how much the fire moves, if smoke limits visibility and if strong winds could cause fire-weakened trees to fall onto the highway. 
  • During highway closures, the south end of Kootenay National Park (Radium Hot Springs to McLeod Meadows) remains open, as well as the north end of the park (from the Junction of the Trans-Canada Highway to Paint Pots).
  • Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.511.alberta.ca for alternate routes and up to date information. 

Fire Ban:
  • A fire ban is in place for the Town of Banff, and Kootenay, Yoho and Banff national parks due to elevated fire danger. 
  • The fire danger conditions are currently listed as extreme. 
  • The fire ban is in place to ensure public safety and protection of infrastructure, Park lands and wildlife. 
  • There is currently no immediate fire threat to the Town of Banff from outside wildfires.
  • The fire ban includes all open fires.
  • The fire ban restriction will be lifted as soon as conditions permit. 

Wildfires:
  • The lightning-ignited spot fires near Hamilton Lake in Yoho National Park and on the slopes of Lipalian Mountain in the Bow Valley, east of the Hamlet of Lake Louise have been extinguished. 
  • The lightning-ignited Wardle wildfire in Kootenay National Park is estimated at 1,200 hectares. 
  • This fire does not currently pose a risk to local communities.
  • Helicopters continue to intensively water bucket the edges of the fire and crews are working on the ground to contain the fire’s spread. 
  • Heavy smoke from this fire is still expected throughout the day. Additional crews will be working along Highway 93 South to remove fire-weakened trees. 
  • People are asked to report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506. 

Smoke:
Wildfires continue to create smoke in the Banff townsite. The levels diminished Friday and Environment Canada removed its air quality statement for Banff.
  • However, smoke conditions can change considerably, hour-by-hour, and over short distances.
  • For health concerns related to smoke, please visit Alberta Health Link or dial 811.

For Kootenay wildfire updates from Parks Canada, visit Kootenay National Park updates.
For Banff trail, weather and hazard alerts, visit Banff National Park visitor safety.


Updated August 2, 4:30 p.m.

The Town of Banff has implemented a fire ban.

Parks Canada announced a fire ban for Banff National Park earlier this afternoon. The fire ban also applies to the hamlet of Lake Louise and the community of Field. Fire bans were also announced for Kootenay and Yoho national parks.

  • The fire danger conditions are currently listed as extreme. 
  • There have been several days of hot, dry weather, and the forecast is for that weather pattern to continue without significant precipitation. The fire ban is in place to ensure visitor safety and for the protection of park infrastructure.
  • There is currently no immediate fire threat to the Town of Banff from outside wildfires, and it is prudent to maintain protection in the town with a fire ban due to current dry and windy conditions.

This fire ban includes all open fires and prohibits until further notice the use of the following items:
  • Campfire (No wood or briquette fires)
  • Charcoal or briquette barbecues
  • Indoor and outdoor wood burning stove 
  • Turkey fryers
  • Tiki torches
This fire ban allows (under direct supervision, and certified by the Canadian Standards Association or Underwriters Laboratories):
  • portable propane fire pits
  • gas or propane stoves and barbeques designed for cooking or heating 
  • propane or gas fuelled lanterns (enclosed flame) 
  • patio heaters (propane, catalytic or infrared/radiant)
The Banff fire ban restriction will be lifted as soon as conditions permit.

Wildfire Updates:
  • On Wednesday, August 1, the two lightning-ignited wildfires in the Vermilion Valley, south of Vermilion Crossing combined together and grew significantly. 
  • The Wardle wildfire, as it is now called, moved northward in the Vermilion Valley and is now estimated at 1000 hectares. 
  • One of the spot fires in Kootenay Valley, south of Kootenay Crossing is now extinguished and another is contained. 
  • The fire on the slopes of Lipalian Mountain in the Bow Valley, east of the Hamlet of Lake Louise is being held. 
  • The Whitetail Creek wildfire, north of Kootenay National Park in the Beaverfoot Valley continues to be managed by BC Wildfire in partnership with Parks Canada.
  • Parks Canada fire crews continue to monitor Kootenay and Banff national parks for new wildfires and are ready with the resources to respond quickly. 
Report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506.

Smoke:
The Town of Banff and the Bow Valley continues to experience smoke from wildfires, primarily from a large fire just outside Kootenay National Park. Although there was some relieve overnight with rain, the moderating wind direction continues to bring smoke and some ash into the townsite.

  • This smoke is coming from the fires in Kootenay National Park or those nearby fires in Alberta.
  • Environment Canada has updated a special air quality statement for Banff National Park near Banff and Lake Louise, and the Town of Canmore. 
  • Smoke is causing poor visibility and reduced visibility. Smoke conditions can change considerably, hour-by-hour, and over short distances.
  • Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. 
  • Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.
  • For health concerns related to smoke, please visit Alberta Health Link or dial 811.
Roads:
  • A partial closure is now in place for Highway 93 South with no through access. Certain areas at the North and South ends of Kootenay National Park, including the Radium Hot Pools are accessible. 
  • In the South, access from Radium Hot Springs to McLeod Meadows is now open. 
  • In the North, access to Paint Pots from the Junction of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) is now open. 
  • Highway 93 South remains closed to through traffic from Paint Pots to McLeod Meadows campground due to wildfire. Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.511.alberta.ca for status of road closures.
Area closures:
  • A new closure is in place for Hector Gorge trail. 
  • A new closure is in place for the North Rockwall from Tumbling Pass to the Paint Pots junction, including Helmet Creek trail, Goodsir Pass trail and Wolverine Pass trail. This closure includes associated campgrounds: Tumbling, Helmet and Helmet/Ochre. 
  • The South Rockwall trail from Tumbling Pass to Floe Lake trailhead, including associated campgrounds: Numa Creek and Floe Lake; 
  • The area near Luxor Pass trail, West Kootenay trail, Dolly Varden trail and Crooks Meadow Group camping; 
  • Honeymoon Pass trail, Hawk Creek trail and Simpson River trail; 
  • Day-use areas including Wardle Creek day-use area, Vermilion Crossing day-use area and Simpson’s Monument day-use area.
Evacuations:
  • An evacuation remains for Kootenay Park Lodge due to the proximity of the Wardle fire to the lodge, the weather forecasted for the next two days and the dry conditions on the ground.
  • No other communities are identified as at risk at this time.
Useful links:


Wildfire Information - August 1, 2018

The Town of Banff and the Bow Valley is experiencing smoke coming from wildfires, most likely in Kootenay National Park.

There is currently no immediate fire threat to the Town of Banff. We will provide updates if conditions worsen. Check Parks Canada’s Important Bulletins for current information.

Fires:
  • Parks Canada and the BC Wildfire Service are managing a wildfire over 200 hectares in size at Whitetail Creek in the Beaverfoot Valley outside of Kootenay National Park. This fire is just outside of Kootenay National Park, north of Radium Hot Springs. 
  • This wildfire does not pose a threat to Radium Hot Springs or other local communities at this time. 
  • There are also other wildfires burning in the province of B.C. (adjacent to Kootenay National Park) and in Alberta (adjacent to Banff National Park).
  • There is one wildfire confirmed in Banff National Park, near Lake Louise, that is currently being managed. 
Roads:
  • Highway 93 South – Castle Junction to Radium closed due to proximity of fires to the highway as well as limited visibility from smoke. It is scheduled to be closed until at least 7 a.m., August 2.
  • Alternate routes include Highway 95 to Golden.
  • Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.511.alberta.ca for status of road closures.

Evacuations:
  • An evacuation order has been put in place for Kootenay Park Lodge due to the proximity of the Wardle fire to the lodge, the weather forecasted for the next two days and the dry conditions on the ground.
  • No other communities are identified as at risk at this time.

Smoke:
  • This smoke is coming from the fires in Kootenay National Park or those nearby fires in Alberta.
  • Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Banff National Park near Banff and Lake Louise, and the Town of Canmore. 
  • Smoke is causing poor visibility and reduced visibility. Smoke conditions can change considerably, hour-by-hour, and over short distances.
  • Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. 
  • Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. 
  • Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.
  • For health concerns related to smoke, please visit Alberta Health Link or dial 811.
Web links:
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