Gateway Gazette

Waterton Lakes National Park: Fire Information Update – Kenow Fire

Kenow Fire – Evacuation alert in effect: September 5, 2017; 18:30hr

Parks Canada has 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 action allows us to be ready for a forecasted change in weather in a couple days.

Parks Canada is actively managing parts of the Kenow Fire that have the potential to impact Waterton Lakes National Park. The fire ignited by lighting is primarily in British Columbia but started some small spot fires in Waterton Lakes National Park at the park’s northwestern boundary near Sage Pass. Yesterday, two helicopters worked at suppressing these spot fires from the air. There was about 0.5 hectares of fire in the park at the time. The helicopters will continue bucketing at Sage Pass if needed.

A Parks Canada national incident management team is on site, along with three initial attack crews and five helicopters. Another crew is arriving tomorrow afternoon. The fire management team is assessing containment options. Crews are working on facility protection using water pumps and sprinklers.

BACKGROUND…

Parks Canada first spotted the fire from the air on August 30th in the Kishinena Creek area of British Columbia’s Flathead Valley. On September 2, during a period of hot weather and high winds, the fire expanded east 7 kilometres towards Waterton Lakes National Park. The fire has since grown to approximately 6,500 hectares.

WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED…

ALL OF WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK IS CLOSED, with the exception of:

·        Townsite
·        Pass Creek, Emerald Bay, Prince of Wales, Linnet Day Use Area
·        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.

•        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/scond/rec_rep_e.asp?opark= 100429

Stay up-to-date through Waterton Lakes National Park’s “Important Bulletins” page on the park 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  Smoke conditions can change daily in Waterton Lakes National Park. For smoke and air quality alerts visit www.airhealth.ca

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