Waterton Lakes National Park after the Kenow Fire

Parks Canada and its partners are actively managing the Kenow Fire in Waterton Lakes National Park. We are assessing and addressing hazards in the park to ensure public safety.

Some areas of Waterton Lakes National Park are now open to the public. Please see our updated list of open and accessible areas. 

Safety is Parks Canada's top priority. Visitors who choose to come to the park must obey area closures and remain vigilant of potential hazards. Important safety information is outlined below.

Map of open and closed areas in Waterton Lakes National Park

Areas highlighted in green are open to the public and the areas in red are closed until further notice.

Visitor safety during the Kenow Fire

Wildlife

Animals that are injured, hungry or displaced may have unpredictable behaviour, including entering the townsite in search of food. For your safety and the safety of the animals, never approach, feed or entice wildlife. Dispose of garbage only in the bear-proof bins located throughout the townsite in order to avoid attracting wildlife. Report all wildlife sightings within the townsite by calling 1-888-WARDENS (1-888-927-3367).

Roads

Only the Entrance Road and Highways 5 and 6 are open in the park. All other roads are closed to the public until hazards are addressed.

Some road signs and guardrails were destroyed by fire, and debris periodically rolls onto the road. In addition, wildlife and fire crews may be on or near the road. Use caution and proceed slowly when driving through the park.

Trees, rocks and debris

Many trees are unstable due to burned roots or saturated soil from fire-fighting activities, while others may be dangerous due to broken tops. There may be ash pits around tree bases and hotspots that still need to be extinguished.

Vegetation that kept slopes stable has burned, resulting in rocks and logs rolling down slopes onto sidewalks and roads.

With the loss of some infrastructure, there may be pieces of steel, nails, glass or other similar hazards in the area. Many power poles have been damaged or destroyed. Watch for downed and low-hanging lines.

Air quality

Smoke and ash may create air quality and visibility issues. Visitors with the following medical conditions or situations should not visit the park until the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is regularly 3 or less:

  • Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma)
  • Individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack)
  • Pregnant women
  • Children under the age of seven
  • Seniors over the age of 65

For smoke and air quality alerts visit: www.airhealth.ca

Water quality

Water in the townsite is safe for consumption.

Services

You are advised to bring basic necessities, such as water and food. Businesses may open as soon as business owners have ensured that their locations are safe and are staffed to provide services to the public. Due to the seasonal nature of the Waterton townsite, some businesses may choose to remain closed for the remainder of the season. Please call ahead to ensure the business you wish to visit is open.

For information on businesses in Waterton Lakes National Parks Canada, visit the Waterton Lakes Chamber of Commerce website.

Parks Canada visitor activities

Some areas in Waterton Lakes National Park are now open to the public. Please see our updated list of open and accessible areas. All other frontcountry and backcountry areas (including trails) are closed and are being assessed for safety hazards due to the Kenow Fire. All Parks Canada events and activities in the national park are on hold until further notice.

Sources of information

Parks Canada updates and information are available at:

For information about smoke and air quality, visit www.airhealth.ca

For information about road conditions inside and outside of Waterton Lakes National Park, visit:

  • Alberta 511 web site or call (toll-free): 1-855-391-9743 (outside Alberta); 5-1-1 (within Alberta).
  • Waterton Lakes National Park Road report

We appreciate the public’s support and understanding as Parks Canada works to make Waterton Lakes National Park safe for future visits.

In case of EMERGENCY call 911

  • State that you are calling from Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Cell phones are not always reliable in the backcountry

To report wildlife, call: 1-888-WARDENS (927-3367).