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Octopus Mountain still burningPosted: August 21, 2012

A 352 hectare wildfire continues to burn on Octopus Mountain, straddling the border between Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.

A significant amount of growth occurred in the last 24 hours due to increased local winds in the area. Fire specialists from Parks Canada, B.C. Provincial Parks and the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch are jointly managing the fire. Parks Canada fire personnel continue to monitor and work on the fire as needed.
Smoke from the Octopus Mountain fire is visible from Highway 93 south near the Simpson Creek trailhead, and from parts of Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, southern Banff National Park, and the Canmore area. Additionally, smoke from fires outside of the national park in southern British Columbia is also contributing to the hazy conditions. Signs are in place along highway 93 South to alert visitors to smoke in the area and the highway conditions are being monitored for safety.
No new fires have been detected within the last 3 days; however, due to large amounts of lightning over the last 24 hours, resources are in place to deal with any potential new starts.
There are no visitor safety threats at this time. Fire management staff will continue to evaluate the situation and are ready to implement area and trail closures if required.
Meanwhile, another blaze in Brewer Creek, southwest of Invermere, continues to be auctioned today by more than 20 firefighters. The blaze has expanded to about 14 hectares since Monday, August 20.

Closures:
·        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: http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/Rec_Rep_e.asp?opark=100253
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park:
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/mt_assiniboine/
To report a wildfire in Banff, Yoho, or Kootenay national parks, call Banff Dispatch at 403-762-4506, or call 911.
Above image and right: the Air Spray fire bomber rapidly re-fuels and re-loads at Rocky Mountain International Airport August 22. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photos

With files from Parks Canada

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