Yesterday Parks Canada issued an evacuation alert for all of Waterton Lakes National Park. The Kenow Fire has not advanced further into the park but it continues to expand. There is no immediate threat, but this pre-emptive alert allows us to be ready for a forecasted change in weather in a couple of days. Parks Canada will continue to manage the fire and plans to use helicopters to bucket water if possible.
· An evacuation alert was issued for all of Waterton Lakes National Park.
· We encourage people to visit alternate destinations if they do not have an immediate need to be here.
· The Kenow Fire has not advanced further into the park but it continues to grow. Two initial attack crews are currently in transit and a dedicated crew is working on facility protection using water pumps and sprinklers throughout the park and Waterton townsite. Additional crews are available if needed.
· Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for the area today. Wildfire smoke affects people differently. People who have pre-existing health conditions and those who are particularly sensitive to air pollution are at risk of worsened symptoms from smoke exposure. As temperatures cool overnight smoke may settle in the valley bottoms and affect air quality and visibility. Please drive carefully in the area and check AB 511 for road conditions. For smoke and air quality alerts visit: www.airhealth.ca
· Weather forecasts predict a change in weather conditions later this week that could lead to increased potential danger or hazards from the Kenow wildfire.
WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED…
ALL OF WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK IS CLOSED, with the exception of:
· Highway 5/6 including Entrance Road to Townsite
· Chief Mountain Highway
• The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure and neighbouring lands is always Parks Canada’s number one priority.
• We expect weather conditions to remain the same for the next few days with light east winds. Smoke from this fire may settle in valleys overnight.
• Full details on the evacuation alert are available here http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/
Stay up-to-date through Waterton Lakes National Park’s website, and the park’s facebook and twitter feeds. Additional information about wildfires in the national mountain parks is available here at www.parkscanada.ca/fire.