Fire closes Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park
A fire near Highway 93 close to the B.C. and Alberta border has forced a closure of the Kootenay National Park highway.
An assessment is in progress and an alternate route is available via Highway 1 to Golden and then south on Highway 95.
Meanwhile, lightning and people combined to spark several new fires yesterday and overnight, including a 2.1 ha fire near Vermilion Crossing in Kootenay National Park.
Another lightning-caused fire, at .01 ha, is reported in the Beaverfoot less than four km south of the Whitetail fire.
And there is a .6 ha lightning-caused fire in Akenside Creek, in the high country south of Frances Creek, about 20 km west of Edgewater.
The Findlay Creek fire discovered July 30 is now noted as being 17.5 ha in size.
There are three new fires burning south of Golden, including a .01 ha fire in Monitoba Creek, about 2 km southwest of Carbonate and another .01 fire at Twin Creek near Highway 95 and Schlesser Road and another .01 fire at Canyon Creek, uphill from the Canyon Lake & Trail Recreation Reserve.
The biggest fire burning in the East Kootenay remains the Whitetail Creek blaze (pictured above) just west of Kootenay National Park, approximately 17 km east of Spillimacheen (40 km north of Radium Hot Springs)
Discovered Friday, July 27, the fire is estimated to be about 201 ha. It is considered 25% guarded but not contained.
“This fire is classified as out-of-control. This wildfire does not pose a threat to the Radium Hot Springs or other local communities at this time,” BCWS stated.
This fire does not currently pose a risk to visitors of Kootenay National Park; however, as a precautionary measure, area closures and smoke advisories have been put into place by Parks Canada.
Effective immediately, the Beaverfoot Forest Service Road is closed beyond the 47-kilometre mark (near the Symond Creek Bridge). No vehicles are permitted on this section of road. This road will remain closed until the public is otherwise notified.
BCWS says 68 firefighters, seven helicopters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment are on the fire today.
“Ground crews and heavy equipment are on site today along with aviation support. Crews are working to continue to build guard to limit growth. Hand ignition operations will take place to reinforce the guard where appropriate,” BCWS said.