Update - Aug. 2 9:15 p.m.
Highway 93 through Kootenay National Park is now open. However, this highway continues to be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities. Check www.DriveBC.ca
for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information.
Wildfire Update from Parks Canada - Aug. 2, 1:30 p.m.
The Parks Canada incident management team is actively managing the Verdant Creek wildfire. The fire does not directly threaten any communities at this time, however visitors and residents will continue to see smoke as temperatures increase. The fire remains on the West side of the Continental Divide. The fire is approximately 11,000 hectares in size.
A shift in wind direction on August 1 permitted Parks Canada fire management crews to carry out direct fire suppression work on the northern side of the fire using air and ground crews. Parks Canada will continue to directly suppress the northern side of the fire as weather permits.
Increased fire activity on the southwest side of the fire has resulted in heavy smoke in the transportation corridor along Highway 93S. The highway has been temporarily closed for public safety. Parks Canada will continue to monitor the situation. Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.alberta511.ca for alternate routes and the most up-to-date information.
Effective Thursday, August 3, Sunshine Village will be used as a staging area for Parks Canada operations to manage the fire. Sunshine Village is the best location to conduct this suppression work and will allow the crews to focus their efforts on containing the north side of the fire. Parks Canada appreciates Sunshine Village’s on-going cooperation and assistance to facilitate the management of the Verdant Creek wildfire.
In addition to the closures already in place, a proactive closure in the Brewster Creek area drainage will be implemented. The closure will be put in place as a precaution to minimize the risk of potential new fire starts in the backcountry. For more information, please check www.parkscanada.gc.ca/verdant-fire.
Smoke from the Verdant Creek wildfire may affect air quality. For smoke and air quality alerts visit: Environment and Climate Change Canada: http://www.ec.gc.ca/cas-aqhi/default.asp?lang=En&n=63B57543-1.
The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure and neighbouring lands is Parks Canada’s first priority. Fire and weather conditions can change quickly and the public is encouraged to stay informed and check for updates before heading through the park.
What is closed
Highway 93 through Kootenay National Park has been temporarily closed due to poor visibility from wildfire smoke. Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.alberta511.ca for alternate routes and the most up-to-date information.
To ensure public safety and to facilitate fire management operations, the following areas are closed:
· Sunshine Village and Sunshine Village Road;
· All trails in the Egypt Lake area;
· Healy Pass;
· Citadel Pass;
· Sunshine Meadows;
· Brewster Creek area drainage;
· Backcountry campgrounds Re16, E13 and E5.
What is open
· Shadow Lake Lodge and backcountry campgrounds Re6, Re14, and Re 21 remain open.
· The Radium Hot Springs pools, Redstreak Campground and nearby trails remain open as usual, and will not be affected by any temporary road closures resulting from the fire.
· 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.
FOR CURRENT INFORMATION:
· Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.alberta511.ca for the most up-to-date information on road conditions.
· Refer to our website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/verdant-fire and our Facebook and Twitter channels.
Emergencies only: Report wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506
NOTE: Further updates regarding the Verdant Creek wildfire will be provided only when there are significant changes.