Sunday, 09 September 2018 13:04

Waterton wildfire still being battled (update as of Sept. 8, 7:15 p.m.)

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]Three Parks Canada helicopters and one U.S. heavy helicopter have been bucketing water on the east perimeter of the Boundary Wildfire throughout Saturday. These actions have suppressed fire activity on hot spots and limited further fire growth today, despite the windy conditions.


Observed fire activity included surface fire with isolated torching of groups of trees.

WHAT’S HAPPENING…
Aerial suppression of the Boundary Wildfire will continue into the evening as conditions allow.

The U.S. Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT) met with Parks Canada fire managers in Waterton this morning to discuss fire activity and continuing response. The Deputy Incident Commander of the Northern Rockies IMT is stationed in Waterton Lakes National Park to work closely with Parks Canada Fire Managers. Parks Canada and U.S. fire managers are coordinating efforts and are in constant communication.
 
The IMT has 21 firefighters assigned to this fire and stationed at Goat Haunt. Once the eastern hot spots are knocked down by heli-bucketing, and it is safe to do so, ground crews will assess the spots and determine future actions. Waterton’s initial attack crew has prepared pumps, hoses and portable water tanks that enable firefighters to draw water from Boundary Creek and suppress the wildfire from the ground. Two Parks Canada initial attack crews (8 firefighters) are travelling to Waterton Lakes National Park tomorrow morning. They will be working on the fire line under the direction of the U.S. IMT to suppress the wildfire on the north side of Boundary Creek.
The forecast is calling for cooler weather tomorrow and over the next few days. Smoke generating from the Boundary Valley will be visible to the public in some parts of Waterton Lakes National Park.

BACKGROUND…
U.S. and Canadian fire managers have been responding to the Boundary Wildfire since it was first observed on August 23, 2018. Fire behaviour increased due to dry and windy conditions on September 7, 2018. That afternoon, the wildfire burned across the U.S. – Canada border and into Waterton Lakes National Park for the first time since the wildfire started.

FIRE QUICK FACTS…
Location: Boundary Creek Valley, Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park.
Size: Approximately 1,100 hectares (rough estimate until more accurate mapping completed)
Status: Out of control
Parks Canada Resources: 3 helicopters, initial attack crew, local incident management team

WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED…  
Waterton Lakes National Park and the Waterton townsite are open. Parks Canada has closed the Bertha Lake Trail, the Lakeshore Trail and the Bertha Lake and Bertha Bay Backcountry Campgrounds due to the wildfire activity in the area.
For detailed trail closure information in Waterton Lakes National Park, visit https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/Rec_Rep_E.asp?opark=100429

For detailed trail closure information in Glacier National Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW…
•        The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure and neighbouring lands is always Parks Canada’s number one priority.
•        Waterton’s Boundary Wildfire website https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/securite-safety/pnlw-wlnp-feu-fire-2018  and Facebook and Twitter
•        Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1 updates for the Boundary Wildfire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6170/

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