GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – A wildfire burning in the upper reaches of Glacier National Park has prompted Canadian fire officials to issue an evacuation alert.
The alert, which covers all of Waterton Lakes National Park, was issued late Thursday due to a blaze that’s burning south of the park in the Boundary Creek Valley that’s currently burning out of control.
The blaze is located west of Upper Waterton Lake in Glacier National Park. Waterton Lakes and Glacier national parks monitored the wildfire — which is estimated to have burned 700 hectares (over 1,700 acres) throughout the night from Upper Waterton Lake.
The flames remain south of the international border in Glacier National Park and Parks Canada and the U.S. National Park Service are coordinating efforts closely.
Air resources will be used on Friday to try and slow the spread of fire eastward toward Waterton Lake. Meanwhile, structure protection measures are being put in place in the Goat Haunt area.
Parks Canada is installing structure protection at Boundary Bay and Bertha Bay backcountry campgrounds and will bring in additional structural protection resources to the Waterton townsite if required, according to Parks Canada.
An Evacuation Alert has been issued for Waterton Lakes National Park due to an out of control fire near Boundary Creek. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Advance notice will be given prior to evacuation; this may be limited due to changing conditions.
An Evacuation Alert has been issued for Waterton Lakes National Park due to an out of control fire near Boundary Creek. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Advance notice will be given prior to evacuation; this may be limited due to changing conditions. https://t.co/GsbrpDQ8mY
— Waterton Lakes NP (@WatertonLakesNP) August 24, 2018
After checking all trails and backcountry campgrounds, Parks Canada has closed all backcountry areas in the park. The evacuation alert means that visitors and residents at Waterton Lakes National Park should be prepared to evacuate the park if it is necessary.
Parks Canada reports that while they will give as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation, the notice may be limited due to changing conditions. Additional information can be obtained by calling (403) 859-5140.
All of Waterton Lakes National Park is closed with the exception of the Waterton Townsite, Highway 5/6 including the entrance road to the townsite and the Chief Mountain Highway.
The following information and advice is being provided by Parks Canada:
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN AN ALERT IS IN EFFECT
- Locate all family members or co-workers and designate which Reception Centre or location outside the evacuation area you will meet up at, should an evacuation be called while separated
- Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e. insurance), immediate care needs for dependents and, if you choose, keepsakes (photographs, etc). Have these items readily available for quick departure
- Prepare to move any disabled persons, children and pets and/or livestock
- Arrange to transport your household members or co-workers in the event of an evacuation order, including ensuring the transportation is fueled up. If you need transportation assistance please advise the individual providing notice of the evacuation, any park staff or RCMP
- Arrange accommodation for your family if possible. In the event of an evacuation, Reception Centres will be opened if required
- Monitor news sources for information on evacuation orders and locations of Reception Centres
- Further information will be issued should the situation change. (Or, visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/index)
- Move firewood piles, lumber, trailers, storage sheds as far away as possible from your homes
- Store patio furniture and decorative pieces away from your home when you are not around
IF AN EVACUATION IS ORDERED
- You will be given notice in person or over the phone by park staff or other emergency personnel. Emergency personnel will check all houses and locations and mark them when cleared
- You must leave the park within one hour of formal notice
- If a resident or homeowner, close all doors and windows, shut off propane or natural gas. RCMP and Parks Canada Wardens will provide security during the evacuation period
- Travel will only be permitted out of the park. Admittance to evacuated areas will be limited to emergency vehicles.