Yesterday, working on the ground under the direction of the U.S. Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT), the initial attack teams from Waterton Lakes, Banff and Kootenay national parks established a hose lay on the north side of Boundary Creek running up the south side of Mount Richards. Aerial suppression efforts over the past days have been successful in holding the fire.
During the overnight period, no significant fire growth occurred. At 08:30 this morning, smoke and smouldering were noted, with some open flame visible.
Aerial suppression efforts continued at 08:30, with three Canadian helicopters dropping water at strategic targets within the fire zone.
Today’s forecast is calling for seasonal temperatures and sustained winds at 45 km/hr gusting to 60 km/hr. This may increase fire activity and limit aircraft operations. Smoke generating from the Boundary Valley may be visible to the public in parts of Waterton Lakes National Park.
To ensure the safety of fire crew members, they will not be working directly on the fire line today due to the hazard of potential falling dead trees.
The U.S. IMT and Parks Canada are coordinating efforts and are in constant communication. The Deputy Incident Commander of the Northern Rockies IMT is stationed in Waterton Lakes National Park to work closely with Parks Canada Fire Managers.
U.S. and Canadian fire managers have been responding to the Boundary Wildfire since it was first observed on August 23, 2018. Fire behaviour increased due to dry and windy conditions on September 7, 2018. That afternoon, the wildfire burned across the U.S. – Canada border and into Waterton Lakes National Park for the first time since the wildfire started.
FIRE QUICK FACTS…
Location: Boundary Creek Valley, Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park.
Size: Approximately 1,100 hectares (rough estimate until more accurate mapping completed)
Status: 13% contained, no growth yesterday
Parks Canada Resources: 3 helicopters, three initial attack crews, local incident management team
WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED…
Waterton Lakes National Park and the Waterton townsite are open. Parks Canada has closed the Bison Paddock overlook which includes road access to Horseshoe Trail. This closure is in effect to facilitate helicopter operations. Bertha Lake Trail, the Lakeshore Trail and the Bertha Lake and Bertha Bay Backcountry Campgrounds remain closed due to wildfire activity in the area.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW…
• The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure and neighbouring lands is always Parks Canada’s number one priority.
• Waterton’s Boundary Wildfire website https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/
• Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1 updates for the Boundary Wildfire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/