Update: September 12, 2012
Location: Kootenay National Park
Smoke is visible from Highway 93S between Numa Falls and Simpson Monument. During peak burning periods, park interpreters will be on hand in the Kootenay Park Lodge parking lot at Vermilion Crossing. Photo.
Crews and equipment:
The fire is being managed jointly by Parks Canada, B.C. Parks and B.C. Wildfire Management Branch. Helicopters and ground crews continue to ensure the fire poses no risk to people or facilities.
Smoke and visibility:
Smoke and fire management activities are visible from Highway 93 South near Simpson Monument. Signs are in place along Highway 93 South to alert visitors to smoke in the area.
- Simpson River drainage basin and trail from Porcupine Creek to Highway 93 South
- Surprise Creek drainage basin in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park
- Lachine drainage basin in Kootenay National Park
Please check the following park websites for the most current closure information:
Kootenay National Park - Important Bulletins
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park
When conditions change
On the evening of August 12, 2012, a wildfire was reported on Octopus Mountain, near the boundary of Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park in the Simpson River area. The fire was the result of a lightning strike earlier in the week. It remained dormant and undetected until day-time heating caused it to flare up.
When first reported, the fire was 43 hectares in size. A smoke column was visible from Highway 93 South in the Simpson Monument area and from as far away as the Sunshine Village Ski Resort near the town of Banff. The fire now straddles the border between Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.
According to LLYK's approved Fire Management Plan, this wildfire is located in Zone 3, the Extensive Management Zone, which allows for wildfires to be managed with minimal intervention, if predetermined conditions exist. According to these guidelines, under current conditions the goal for fire managers is to use natural features such as avalanche paths, wet areas, changes in forest type, etc., to contain fire spread within Zone 3.
Octopus Mountain wildfire in Kootenay National Park August 19, 2012
© Ian Ward