Gateway Gazette

Waterton Lakes National Park Fire Information Update: August 4, 2017

At this time, there are no wildfires in Waterton Lakes National Park. Fire danger rating remains extreme with slightly cooler temperatures forecast over the weekend and hot and dry weather conditions forecast into next week. The current hot, dry weather, coupled with little rain over the past four-plus weeks, has resulted in very dry forests, which significantly increases the wildfire risk. 

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. 

Parks Canada anticipates a pro-active limited backcountry closure effective Tuesday, August 8. This would include closing all backcountry campgrounds and some trails and prohibiting off-trail hiking in the park for visitor safety. We will communicate the details of this closure as soon as they are confirmed. 

A fire ban is in effect for Waterton Lakes National Park due to the elevated fire danger and to prevent human-caused fires. The fire ban prohibits all open fires (with the exception of gas/propane powered appliances), including briquette barbeques, in Waterton Lakes National Park including the townsite, campgrounds and day-use areas. Fire ban details here: http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/Cond_E.asp?oID=28176&oPark=100429 

Smoke conditions can change daily in Waterton Lakes National Park and are the result of wildfires burning in British Columbia and possibly from wildfires in Montana. For smoke and air quality alerts visit: Environment and Climate Change Canada (www.airhealth.ca). 

Parks Canada continues to monitor conditions with daily helicopter patrols to check for lightning strikes or ignition of fires. A local initial attack team, an additional Parks Canada initial attack team from Pukaskwa National Park and a helicopter are in Waterton and ready to respond in the event of a wildfire. A second helicopter will also be stationed in Waterton over the long weekend. Parks Canada is also working with regional fire managers in Alberta and Montana to monitor the situation and share information about resources and conditions. 

FOR CURRENT INFORMATION… 

For the most up-to-date information on fire bans, wildfires and closures in individual national parks visit www.parkscanada.ca/fire-alerts. Motorists are also encouraged to check provincial highway information at DriveBC and Alberta511. 
The national Get Prepared: Emergency Preparedness (https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-en.aspx) and FireSmart Canada (https://www.firesmartcanada.ca/) websites have resources to help you plan for an emergency and protect your home. 

REPORT… 

Any wildfires, campfires, including briquette barbeques, or suspicious smoke, including in the townsite, campgrounds and day-use areas to Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-888-WARDENS (1-888-927-3367). 

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