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The original item was published from 8/2/2018 4:34:00 PM to 8/2/2018 4:38:03 PM.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Updated Wildfire Information - August 2, 2018

Updated August 2, 3:20 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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