Parks Canada continues to manage portions of the Kenow Fire with potential to impact Waterton Lakes National Park. Today, helicopter crews will work to reduce potential wildfire spread at Sage and South Kootenay passes by bucketing water if possible. The fire management team is assessing options to remove vegetation from South Kootenay Pass. Fire crews are identifying and strengthening natural and human-made landscape features in the Akamina and Red Rock valleys that can act as containment lines to stop or slow the spread of wildfire if it enters the park. The Kenow Fire has not advanced further into the park but it continues to expand. There is no immediate threat. Crews continue progress on community protection by installing high-volume pumps, hoses and sprinkler systems.
· An evacuation alert is still in effect 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 and is approximately 7,800 hectares in size. Five initial attack crews and one crew dedicated to facility protection are on site. Additional crews are available if needed.
· A special air quality statement issued by Environment Canada remains 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 conditions are forecasted to change on Friday which could lead to increased fire behaviour.
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
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.
• Warnings can be sent to your mobile device by downloading the Alberta Emergency Alert app (available in the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS).
• 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, facebook page and twitter feed. Additional information about wildfires in the national mountain parks is available at www.parkscanada.ca/fire.