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

Mudslides close Highway 1 between Hope and Chilliwack

Geotechnicians are on scene and an assessment is underway.

City of Abbotsford to pay $1.5 million toward Ledgeview clubhouse replacement

New facility, including banquet hall, at city-owned course to cost $5.67 million in total

Doctors not meeting hand hygiene targets in B.C. hospitals

In the Fraser Valley and across the province, nurses outperform physicians in keeping hands clean

Missing teen found safe

Boy had last been seen in Central Abbotsford on Nov. 10

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

5 to start your day

Coquitlam dog walker rescued, education minister blasts Chilliwack trustee and more

Canadian initiative fuelled by Terry Fox’s dream may be only hope for young cancer patients

Young cancer patients in rural or remote areas did not always get the testing available

Olympic gymnastics ex-doctor pleads guilty to sex charges

Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among Nassar’s victims

Hurricanes breeze past Giants in WHL action

Vancouver’s four-game home-ice winning streak at Langley Events Centre comes to an end in disappointing 5-2 loss

VIDEO: ‘She is a tough cookie,’ says husband of found Coquitlam dog walker

Annette Poitras found alive in the woods on Wednesday morning

Lower Mainland teen seeks funding for $750,000 drug Soliris

Paul Chung is hopeful that, like Shantee Anaquod, he will be approved for costly aHUS treatment

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

Most Read