Daily update, July 22, 2017: Verdant Creek wildfire
The Parks Canada incident management team is actively managing a wildfire in Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide, approximately 24 km from the Town of Banff and approximately 2.5 km from Sunshine Village. It is not currently threatening any local communities.
Parks Canada fire crews are making good progress to prevent the spread of the Verdant wildfire in the key locations of Talc Lake and Simpson Pass. The fire has shown little growth over the past 48 hours to the southeast.
On July 21, conditions allowed Parks Canada fire management personnel to map the perimeter of the fire and determined it is approximately 4100 ha. Prior to that mapping flight, it was difficult to accurately ascertain the size because of smoke impeding visibility.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Parks Canada is the lead agency managing this fire, and is working closely with BC Parks and BC Wildfire Service.
- The safety of the public and our crews, and protecting park infrastructure and neighbouring lands is Parks Canada's first priority.
- The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide.
- The Verdant Creek wildfire is currently not a threat to local communities.
- Parks Canada will continue to update the public as the situation evolves.
WHAT IS OPEN:
All facilities in Banff and Kootenay national parks are open, except for the area closures. There are many frontcountry and backcountry destinations for visitors to explore. All highways in Banff and Kootenay national parks remain open. In the proximity of the closure area, the following facilities remain open: Shadow Lake Lodge and other tourism operations in the area, Hawk Creek and Redearth Trails to Ball Pass.
WHAT IS CLOSED:
Backcountry area closures remain in place in the Verdant Creek area of Kootenay National Park and in the Egypt Lake and Brewster Creek areas of Banff National Park. Sunshine Village is now closed to the public to facilitate Parks Canada’s fire management operations.
Backcountry camping permits in this area are cancelled until further notice. Individuals with backcountry reservations in the area closure should contact 403-762-1556 or visit a Parks Canada Visitor Centre.
A fire ban remains in effect for all mountain national parks due to the elevated fire danger and to prevent the possibility of human-caused fires.
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're doing. People who attempt to fly drones in these areas can face fines of up to $25,000 under the Canada National Parks Act.
Emergencies only: Report wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506.
Parks Canada fire crew member clearing line, July 21, 2017
Aerial view of Verdant Creek wildfire looking south, down Verdant Creek from Redearth Pass, July 21, 2017
Map of National Parks surrounding Verdant Creek wildfire