GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – The Boundary Fire which is burning in the remote northeast section of Glacier National Park has burned nearly 1,800 cares.
The blaze, which was detected on Thursday evening, is located in the Boundary Creek drainage, about one mile west of Upper Waterton Lake.
Parks Canada and the National Park Service deployed aerial initial attack resources, but extreme fire behavior and rapid fire growth prevented an air attack on the fire.
Parks Canada and Glacier National Park staff cleared hikers from backcountry areas and evacuated the Waterton River Backcountry Campground on Thursday.
Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park are closely coordinating efforts and are in constant communication about fire activity and response.
While the fire initially grew very quickly, it moderated on Friday with limited growth on the western fire edge, sccording to Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley.
Glacier National Park has a crew of 24 firefighters working at Goat Haunt to complete preventative structure protection for the 14 buildings. Work at Goat Haunt includes installation of pumps and sprinkler systems.
All trails originating at Goat Haunt are closed at this time. Boat tours operated by Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company continue on Waterton Lake, but cruises are not landing at Goat Haunt at this time.
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.
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.
– web story compiled by Mark Thorsell
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.