GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – The Boundary fire which has forced an evacuation alert in Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park has now grown to over 2,100 acres.
The Type 1 Incident Management Team that’s already handling the Howe Ridge fire is now in charge of battling the blaze and has been given authority to operate in Waterton by the Superintendent of Waterton Lakes National Park.
Parks Canada and U.S. fire managers are coordinating efforts closely and are in constant communication about fire activity and response which has moved slightly to the north and east, reaching Boundary Creek.
The blaze was first reported on August 23rd and is located in the Boundary Creek Valley, near the Campbell Mountain area west of Upper Waterton Lake in northeast Glacier National Park.
All trails originating from Goat Haunt are closed, and all hiking trails in Waterton Lakes National Park are currently closed.
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.
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.