This page is where you will find up-to-date information related to the Kenow fire. Please check back regularly.

Latest fire information update

Kenow Fire - Waterton Lakes National Park: September 23, 2017; 13:00

All areas within Waterton Lakes National Park except for the park Entrance Road and the Waterton townsite are closed. All events and activities in the national park are also on hold until further notice. All front-country and back-country areas (including trails and water access) are closed and are being assessed for safety hazards due to the on-going Kenow Fire. Highways 5 and 6 and the Entrance Road into the Waterton townsite are now open. There is no stopping at any scenic pull-outs along the Entrance Road at this time. All other roads in the park are closed to the public as we assess and action hazards that are a result of the Kenow Fire. Contact the Information Line (403-859-5109) for more information.

Updated map of the Kenow Fire as of September 23, 2017
Map of the Kenow Fire

We now estimate that the Kenow Fire covers an area of approximately 38,100 hectares

Frequently asked questions

Where is the fire?

The Kenow Fire firmly established itself in Waterton Lakes National Park on the afternoon of September 11. Adjacent municipalities were alerted that the fire was moving. The wildfire demonstrated extreme fire behaviour for many hours due to high winds and critically dry fuels.

Burning intensified and the fire moved northeast down the Cameron Valley along the Akamina Parkway. Later in the evening, fire became visible from the townsite and then on the north side of Crandell Mountain. The fire began to move north at a high rate of spread through the grasslands along the park’s Entrance Road. Overnight, the fire moved north out of the park and into adjacent lands.

The wildfire is still affecting many back-country and front-country areas in the park.

How large is the fire?

The fire is approximately 38,100 hectares in size.

When will the Kenow fire be extinguished?

The Kenow wildfire will only be extinguished with significant changes in weather and sustained precipitation. Parks Canada will continue to actively manage the fire, including direct and indirect suppression efforts.

How smokey is it?

Smoky conditions can vary daily. More information and air quality advisories can be found here:

How often is information updated?

Updates regarding the Kenow wildfire will be provided daily and as needed when there are significant changes. The most recent updates can be found here on this page.

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 check Drive BC and Alberta 511 before travelling, and report any wildfires, illegal campfires or suspicious smoke to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506.

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.

What other agencies are involved in this incident?

Parks Canada is working closely with wildfire and emergency management partners in the region in responding to the Kenow Fire, including:

  • Alberta Wildfire
  • Alberta Emergency Management Agency
  • Pincher Creek Emergency Services
  • Cardston County Emergency Services
  • RCMP
  • B.C. Wildfire Service
  • Calgary Fire Department
  • City of Lethbridge
  • Town of Coaldale
  • Town of Taber
  • Municipal District of Willow Creek

Area closures

  • The Evacuation Order has been lifted and the park has been re-opened to residents, leaseholders, business owners as well as members of the public, but with significantly reduced services. At this time, only the Entrance road, Chief Mountain Road, and the community of Waterton are open. All other roads and areas in the park remain closed for safety reasons. Due to the high intensity of the fire, there are a large number of danger trees, rock falls, and other hazards that remain throughout the park.
  • The Calgary Forest Protection Area south of Highway 532 is no longer under a forest area closure. For more information visit:
Map of open and closed areas in Waterton Lakes National Park

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

Air quality reports

Nearby wildfires are causing smoky conditions.

Check the current air quality statement for Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek and Waterton Lakes National Park.

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

Road reports

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