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: safety/important.

Just Posted

Kelowna’s Community Calendar

Check out some upcoming events, or add your own event to our community calendar

YMCA launches teen program for mental health

Starting April 5, the Kelowna Family Y will host its first run of Mind Fit

Sunday Fiction: My father through my own eyes

Kelowna columnist William Peckham writes a monthly fiction column for the Capital News

Hodge: Losing a legend, and a local character

Kelowna columnist Charlie Hodge says two people have left large legacies

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Dust returns to North Okanagan

The Ministry of Environent and Climate Change Strategy has again issued a dust advisory for Vernon

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read