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The original item was published from 8/8/2018 12:31:00 PM to 8/11/2018 6:06:24 PM.

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Banff's Latest News

Posted on: August 1, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Wildfire Information - August 8, 2018

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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