The Verdant Creek Wildfire in Kootenay National Park and Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park is currently being held. Parks Canada Verdant Creek Wildfire Operations are now in the monitoring stage.

Parks Canada extends its thanks to the public for your cooperation, patience and support throughout the Verdant Creek wildfire.

The fire ban has been lifted in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay national parks, and Redstreak Campground.

Update | FAQ | Area closures | Air quality reports | Other fires

Information update

Frequently asked questions - Updated September 22, 2017

The Verdant Creek Wildfire is currently being held. Parks Canada Verdant Creek wildfire operations are now in the monitoring stage. Parks Canada will continue to actively monitor the Verdant Creek wildfire using helicopters and ground crews. Park visitors may continue to see some smoke and helicopters in the area.

Where is the fire?

The Verdant Creek wildfire is active in Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide and east of Highway 93 South.

How large is the Verdant Creek wildfire?

The fire is currently estimated to be approximately 17,644 hectares; however it is difficult to determine an exact fire size on an ongoing basis.

When will the Verdant Creek wildfire be extinguished?

The Verdant Creek wildfire will be extinguished with significant and sustained changes in weather, which are difficult to predict. Parks Canada will continue to actively manage the fire, including direct suppression efforts, until it is extinguished in Kootenay National Park. It is not uncommon for the fire season in this region to extend into September. It is possible that the Verdant fire could continue until the end of the fire season.

How smoky will it be?

Current air quality information can help residents and visitors plan their activities. More information and air quality advisories can be found here:

How will highways be affected?

Check Drive BC and Alberta 511 for the most up-to-date information.

What is open?

All facilities in Banff and Kootenay national parks are open, except for backcountry campgrounds and trails within the area closures.

What areas are closed as a result of this fire?

Areas are closed proactively for the safety of the public, to reduce the potential for additional fires and to facilitate fire operations. For a complete list of existing area closures visit:

For information about closures in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park visit:

How long will the area closures be in place?

To ensure visitor safety, the area closures will remain in place until further notice. These closures are mandatory and visitors are prohibited from entering the area.  As there may be changes, visitors are encouraged to check this site regularly.

How often is information updated?

Updates regarding the Verdant Creek wildfire will be provided only when there are significant changes. The most recent updates can be found here.

Is the fire ban still in effect?

The fire ban has been lifted in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.

Can I fly my drone to get a view of the fire?

No, it is illegal to fly an unmanned air vehicle (UAV, or drone) in a national park. 

Flying a drone or UAV during fire management operations is extremely hazardous. It endangers fire management personnel and aircraft, and impedes the important work they are doing. People who attempt to fly drones in these areas can face fines of up to $25,000 under the Canada National Parks Act.

Is Parks Canada prepared for other wildfires?

The safety of our crews, the public, infrastructure and neighbouring lands is Parks Canada’s top priority. Parks Canada’s initial attack crews remain prepared to detect and respond to wildfires throughout the region and will continue to take immediate action to extinguish any new wildfires.

What can visitors do to help?

Please report any wildfires, illegal campfires or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506.

How do fires affect wildlife?

Fire is an essential element in the creation of diverse habitats for numerous wildlife species. A fire over a large area leaves many pockets of unburned vegetation. These unburned islands provide areas where wildlife can move out of the path of the fire. During a fire, many animals are able to flee, and smaller animals may seek refuge underground. Almost immediately after a fire, many wildlife species including birds, mammals and insects are often seen in burned areas.

Fire opens up the forest canopy and allows more sunlight to reach understory plants, increasing productivity and biodiversity. Plant-life determines which animals will inhabit an area. Many species of plants begin to sprout soon after a fire has passed, and over time, the quality of habitat for a number of wildlife species is greatly improved.

Is there life after fire?

Fire recycles nutrient stored in live and dead vegetation by converting it into mineral-rich ash. After a fire, pine cones pop open from fire’s heat, releasing their seeds. New growth sprouts from the roots of burned shrubs. Flowers bloom and grasslands are reborn. Animals forage in the lush new growth. Over time, fires create a patchwork of burned and unburned vegetation. This diverse mix of habitats is favoured by wildlife and supports many species.

Area closures:

Banff National Park

Kootenay National Park

Air quality reports:

Provincial governments are responsible for air quality reports. For air quality and air quality advisories:

Road reports:

For the most current information about road closures, alternate routes and more check: