The closed area is shown in pink (map contributed). The closed area is shown in pink (map contributed).

Wildfire burns in Banff National Park

Large part of park closed to hikers, campers

The haze of smoke hanging over Central Alberta on Sunday is from a wildfire in Banff National Park.

The park put out an information bulletin on Sunday afternoon about an area closure in Banff and Kootenay National Parks, due to wildfire in the Verdant Creek region.

The area closed to public uses is east of Highway 93S (Kootenay Parkway), from the Verdant Creek Trail to the Simpson River Trail. The closure also encompasses Haiduk Peak and includes the Whistling Valley Trail, Pharoah Creek Trail and all trails in the Egypt Lake and Healy Pass Area, including the Healy Pass Trail.

The restricted area extends to the eastern boundary of Kootenay National Park from the Simpson River, to the boundary of Banff National Park including the Simpson Pass Trail.

Visitor safety is a priority for Parks Canada and the closure was implemented to ensure visitors stay well away from wildlife risk.

The closure applies to all backcountry users, including day hikers and campers. Hikers are being turned around, and backcountry camping permits in the area will be cancelled until further notice.

Parks Canada team members are currently evacuating backcountry campsites and trails in the area and are also contacting visitors with camping reservations in closed area to advise them of the closure. Parks Canada says crews are also managing small wildfires in the Emerald Lake and Amiskwi areas of Yoho National Park, but that no areas there are closed at this time, according to the Canadian Press.

Individuals with backcountry reservations should contact 403-762-1556 or visit a Parks Canada Visitor Centre.

Updates will be posted on Kootenay and Banff National Parks’ Important Bulletins: www.pc.gc.ca/visitor safety/important.

Just Posted

Cherry growers hope to avoid helicopter use

Extended rainfall can damage cherry crops

Kelowna live-in youth drug treatment program pursued

Fundraising goal for Bridge Youth & Family Services project is to raise $10 million

Second Narrows Bridge collapse survivor remembers tragic day

Kelowna’s Norm Atkinson remembers what it was like to survive B.C. ‘s worst industrial accident

Coldstream standoff suspect enters five guilty pleas

Accused man pleads guilty to five more counts from February standoff with police.

Big summer plans for Big White

A new season has dawned at Big White

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Weather office warns of more thunder and strong winds Friday afternoon

Environment Canada says winds could gust at up to 70 kilometres per hour

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

Platform chosen for online B.C. cannabis sales

Ottawa-based company to create websites for when marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17

UPDATE: Police say story of pretend cops ‘arresting’ woman in CRA scam fake

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Almost 2,400 young athletes set to compete at BC Summer Games

Full list of participants was released Friday for the Cowichan Valley event

Family raises money for B.C. man burned in campfire mishap

Harold Duncan-Williams suffered first, second and third degree burns when his shirt caught on fire

Most Read