Area forest fire impact: Update 9 – July 24, 2017 3:30 p.m. MDT

Dear members of BLLT,

Here is the latest on the B.C. forest fire that is currently resulting in closures in Kootenay and Banff National Parks.

Parks Canada is managing the fire, and providing important information for stakeholders.

UPDATE AS OF JULY 24, 2017 (12:30 P.M. MDT)
As of today, July 24, Sunshine Village will be open.  This includes the Sunshine Road, gondola and Upper Village facilities as well as the Standish Chairlift and viewpoint.  The hiking trails in Sunshine Meadows remain closed. Parks Canada appreciates Sunshine Village’s on-going cooperation and assistance to facilitate the management of the Verdant Creek wildfire.  For details on Sunshine’s re-opening, see this news: www.skibanff.com/sunshine-village-news//the-sunshine-mountain-lodge-and-sunshine-village-will-reopen-monday-july-24/ 

Over the weekend, Parks Canada fire crews made good progress to prevent the spread of the Verdant wildfire in the key locations of Talc Lake and Simpson Pass.  The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide and the fire management specialists are confident in their actions and that the fire is not a risk to local communities.

Parks Canada is the lead agency managing this fire, and is working closely with BC Parks and BC Wildfire Service. The safety of the public and crews, and protecting park infrastructure and neighbouring lands is Parks Canada’s first priority.

Parks Canada is re-opening most of the Brewster Creek area, but the Fatigue Creek and Citadel Pass areas remain closed.   Backcountry area closures remain in place in the Verdant Creek area of Kootenay National Park and in the Egypt Lake.

A fire ban remains in effect for all mountain national parks due to the elevated fire danger and to prevent the possibility of human-caused fires.

For the latest on the situation including closures and maps, fire ban info, a newly added FAQ and more please visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/securite-safety/feu-fire-verdant 

Residents of Banff can visit www.banff.ca for updates as well.

BLLT VISITOR COMMUNICATION
While there are closures that need to happen to protect the safety of visitors, currently most of Banff National Park including the Town of Banff, hamlet of Lake Louise and highways remain open and ready to welcome visitors. It’s important that we work together to ensure visitors are receiving this message.

We have been receiving questions around the smoke and visibility. Depending on the day, as you observe, these conditions change. Our message to visitors is that if you are flexible with your plans, you can still enjoy the activities you set out to do in Banff National Park. See our FAQ video update based on all the questions we’ve been receiving, posted on Facebook.

BLLT continues to communicate with visitors through our website, social media and other necessary channels to ensure they are kept informed on the scenario and understand that Banff and Lake Louise is still open and safe to visit, while ensuring they understand the closures in part of Banff National Park.

Find a central planning resource page for visitors here: https://www.banfflakelouise.com/banff-area-forest-fire