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Banff National Park

Spreading Creek Wildfire


Travel Advisory for the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 N)

Fire activity has decreased on the Spreading Creek Wildfire in Banff National Park.

  • Highway 93 N (Icefields Parkway) is open and will remain open as long as it is safe to do so.
  • The Saskatchewan Crossing Resort remains fully open.

Motorists should anticipate slow zones on a 5 km stretch of Highway 93 North (Icefields Parkway), south of the Saskatchewan Crossing Resort, as there is still an active fire in the area. However, the likelihood of closures is significantly decreasing.

For current information on highway closures visit 511.Alberta.ca


FAQs

Can I drive between Banff and Jasper?
Where are the delays?
Will I still see the best of the Icefields Parkway?
What if I am sensitive to smoke? 
How did the fire start? 
Fire Management in the Mountain National Parks   

Can I drive between Banff and Jasper?

Yes. Highway 93 N (Icefields Parkway) is open and will remain open as long as it is safe to do so. Motorists should anticipate slow zones on a 5 km stretch of Highway 93 North (Icefields Parkway), south of the Saskatchewan Crossing Resort, as there is still an active fire in the area but the likely hood of closures is significantly decreasing.

Where are the delays?

The slow zones are on a 5 km stretch of Highway 93 North (Icefields Parkway), south of the junction with Highway 11 and Saskatchewan Crossing Resort. This is approximately halfway between Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield.

Please check 511 Alberta for the most recent updates on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 N) and Highway 11.

Will I still see the best of the Icefields Parkway?

Yes! Most facilities are open including Saskatchewan Crossing Resort, Rampart Creek and Waterfowl Lakes Campgrounds, Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, the Columbia Icefield area and all other destinations in Jasper National Park.

Some trails and backcountry locations are closed, including Mistaya Canyon. For a map and list of closed areas see Important Bulletins

What if I am sensitive to smoke?

Anyone with smoke sensitivities should avoid the Saskatchewan Crossing area. Precautions include avoiding strenuous exercise and staying indoors. For more information, contact Alberta Health Link 866-408-LINK

How did the fire start?

In early July, a lightning strike started a fire in Banff National Park and the Province of Alberta. Since this time Parks Canada and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) have been actively managing the Spreading Creek Wildfire.

On Friday, July 11th, the Spreading Creek Wildfire became very active in Banff National Park.

Currently the Spreading Creek wildfire is estimated at 7000 hectares in size, with roughly 2500 hectares burning within the Banff National Park boundary. The fire operations are being managed separately by Parks Canada and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, as the fire is covering a large geographic area in both jurisdictions. Both agencies are committed to sharing resources and support as needed.

Watch this page for updates and consult 511.Alberta.ca for current road closure information.


WILDFIRE UPDATE – Spreading Creek Wildfire

What’s happening?

By actively managing the Spreading Creek wildfire Parks Canada is decreasing the current and future risk of wildfire to visitor safety and facilities/ infrastructure. Parks Canada facilities to the north and south of the closure remain open at this time, including Rampart Creek and Waterfowl Campgrounds, as well as the Saskatchewan Crossing Resort.

Operations to contain this wildfire may continue for up to 8 weeks.

Map of the Spreading Creek Wildfire (PDF 3.8 MB)

Map of the Spreading Creek Fire



Fire-related closures

The following areas are closed to any off highway use or recreational activities of any kind:

Siffleur Region 

  • From Dolomite Pass down Dolomite creek to the Park Boundary 
  • From the head of the Siffleur River drainage, at Pipestone pass, just north of Clearwater pass down the Siffleur River to the Park Boundary

Noyes and Totem Creeks 

  • Above Waterfowl Lakes, on the East side of Hwy 93 N encompassing both the Noyes and Totem drainages

Saskatchewan Crossing Area 

  • Glacier Lake Trail 
  • Warden Lake Trail 
  • Owen Creek Trail 
  • Mistaya Canyon/Sarbach/Howse River Trails 
  • Bike trail that parallels Hwy 11 on SE side of highway 
  • Howse River Trail - leading from Saskatchewan Crossing Warden station 
  • Informal trails behind Saskatchewan Crossing resort



Important Information 

  • For important bulletins, including closures see "Important Bulletins" on the Banff National Park website
  • For fires in the province of Alberta visit the Alberta Wildfire website
  • Parks Canada thanks visitors and residents for their patience and understanding while we manage the fire to protect public safety, facilities and infrastructure. 
  • Parks Canada is committed to providing timely and accurate information to our staff and visitors and we will attempt to conduct any fire operations outside of the busiest periods of the day. 
  • For updates about the highway closures, please check Alberta 511
  • Smoke and fire activity may be visible from Highway 93N and Highway 11. We are asking motorists to obey all highway signs and traffic personnel, and to exercise extreme caution while driving in this area.

Next update: as conditions/operations change

Report all wildfires to Banff Dispatch: (403) 762-1473