Monday, 11 September 2017 14:19

Waterton fire update Monday afternoon disconcerting

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The Unified Command of Parks Canada and emergency services says as of early Monday afternoon the Waterton fire is getting closer:



Kenow Fire Information Update – Unified Command: September 11; 13:00
FIRE MOVEMENT AND BEHAVIOUR
·        The Kenow Fire travelled another 4.5 km southeast along the Akamina Valley during yesterday’s burning period and as of this morning is approximately 1.5 km from Akamina Pass It has moved 11.5 km down this valley over the past three days and is approximately 11,400 hectares in size. Intense fire behaviour is forecast for the next two or three days and there is a high probability the wildfire will round the corner at Akamina Pass and enter the Cameron Valley in Waterton Lakes National Park today. The most intense fire behaviour has been taking place between 16:00 and 18:00.
·        The unified command team has identified many containment options, including areas for strategic burnouts and sprinkler lines, to slow or stop the wildfire should it enter the park.
·        An approximately 50 hectare fire established in the Tamarack Basin within the park boundary. Helicopters are bucketing water to suppress this fire today.
·        Extensive fire protection resources are installed on critical infrastructure, park resources and in the townsite. Current and incoming resources include 185 personnel, 14 aircraft, multiple fire engines, water tenders, and 16 specialized structural and wildland fire crews.
·        A containment strategy consisting of sprinklers and burnouts is ready to prevent the fire from leaving the park, should it be needed.
·        The unified team is continuing aggressive suppression action on the fire’s northern flank to stop it from entering the Castle drainages. 
·        Intense fire behaviour, high winds and smoke continue to impede visibility and fire suppression. 
SMOKE
·        Intense fire behaviour is generating significant smoke. Wind direction and temperature inversions may result in low-lying smoke in areas north of Waterton, especially at night.
·        Exercise caution while driving in the area, especially at night. Check AB 511 for driving conditions. Speed limits or closures may be put in place.
·        Wildfire smoke affects people differently. People with pre-existing health conditions or sensitivities to air pollution are at risk of worsened symptoms from smoke exposure. For smoke and air quality alerts visit: www.airhealth.ca
WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED…
·        Waterton Lakes National Park is Closed: www.parkscanada.ca/waterton-kenow-fire  
·        Calgary Forest Protection Area south of Highway 532 is Closed: http://srd.web.alberta.ca/calgary-area-update
Stay up-to-date through Waterton Lakes National Park’s website, facebook page and twitter feed. Additional information about wildfires in the national mountain parks is available at www.parkscanada.ca/fire. 


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