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

Update: Heavy snow disrupts flights at Kelowna International

Kelowna - Expect snow in the Okanagan, Southern Interior and the Kootenays

Veteran reporter to stay at Global Okanagan

Blaine Gaffney was given a layoff notice after a miscommunication

New BCFGA president well prepared for new task

Oliver orchardist Pinder Dhaliwal has been BCFGA vice-president for five years

Cars collide on Duncan street

Two cars will have to be towed from the scene following a late afternoon crash

Interior Health CEO to retire in October

Chris Mazurkewich will step down after three years leading IH

What’s happening

Check out what is happening this weekend in the Okanagan-Shuswap.

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.

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

Ski Patrol and SAR search for missing skier

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read