There is a wildfire in the Verdant Creek area of Kootenay National Park and Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park on the border of Banff National Park. The fire is not a threat to the Bow or Columbia Valleys but smoke may be visible. This is where you will find the most up-to-date information related to this wildfire. Please check back regularly.
 

Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park continues to be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities and may be subject to temporary closures to ensure the safety of the public. Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.alberta511.ca for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information.

A fire ban has been issued for Banff National Park, Kootenay National Park and Yoho National Park due to elevated fire danger.  Lighting or maintaining fires in these areas is now strictly prohibited. The restriction will be lifted as soon as conditions permit. Report any wildfires, illegal campfires, or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch 403-762-4506.

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

Information update

Frequently asked questions - Updated August 17, 2017

Parks Canada is actively managing the Verdant Creek wildfire. The fire is not a threat to the Bow or Columbia Valleys but smoke may be visible and air quality varies day to day. The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide outside of Banff National Park.

Where is the fire?

The Verdant Creek wildfire is active in Kootenay National Park and Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide, adjacent to Banff National Park.

How large is the Verdant Creek wildfire?

The current estimate of the perimeter of the fire is approximately 14,130 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. Here are links to air quality advisories and more information:

How will highways be affected?

Highway 93 through Kootenay National Park continues to be affected by wildfire, smoke and fire suppression activities. Check Drive BC and Alberta 511 for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information.

When Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park is open, it is a safe route to the Columbia Valley. Should it be impacted by smoke or fire behaviour, alternate routes, such as Highways 1 and 95 through Golden, BC, add only approximately one additional hour of driving time. Please check Drive BC and Alberta 511 to plan your route.

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 may be 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, please check here:

For more information about closures in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

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.

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?

Yes, a fire ban remains in effect in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks to prevent the possibility of human-caused fires. Despite recent rain, forests are still very dry. Warm and dry weather anticipated in the coming days will return fire danger to extreme. The fire ban covers all front- and backcountry campgrounds and day-use areas in all three parks. It includes ALL open fires, EXCEPT, provided they are under direct supervision and Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) approved or Underwriters Laboratories (UL certified):

  • portable propane fire pits
  • gas or propane stoves and barbeques designed for cooking or heating
  • propane or gas fuelled lanterns (enclosed flame)
  • patio heaters (propane, catalytic or infrared/radiant).
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 wildfires.

What can visitors do to help?

Visitors are required to follow the restrictions of the present fire ban. Please check Drive BC and Alberta 511 before travelling, and report any wildfires, illegal campfires or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506.

Area closures: Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks

Banff National Park

Kootenay National Park

Yoho National Park

Air quality reports:

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

Sensitive to smoke? Email fire.info@pc.gc.ca to be added to a smoke notification list. Please indicate where you live locally to ensure you are added to the most appropriate list. 

Road reports:

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