Monday, 10 September 2018 09:00

Waterton wildfire update (update as of Sept. 9, 8 p.m.)

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Working on the ground under the direction of the U.S. Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT), the initial attack teams from Waterton Lakes, Banff and Kootenay national parks have established a hose lay on the north side of Boundary Creek running up the south side of Mount Richards.

 

Aerial suppression efforts continued, with three Canadian helicopters and one U.S. heavy helicopter dropping water at strategic targets in the fire zone.

At 08:30 this morning, smoke and smouldering were noted, but no open flame. During the day, moderate winds and cooler temperatures were observed. Helicopter buckets were very effective in minimizing fire activity along the eastern flank.  

WHAT’S HAPPENING…
The forecast is calling for seasonal temperatures and higher winds. This may increase fire activity tomorrow and limit some aircraft operations. Smoke generating from the Boundary Valley may be visible to the public in some parts of Waterton Lakes National Park. 

The U.S. IMT and Parks Canada are coordinating efforts and are in constant communication. The Deputy Incident Commander of the Northern Rockies IMT is stationed in Waterton Lakes National Park to work closely with Parks Canada Fire Managers. 

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: 13% contained, no growth today. 
Parks Canada Resources: 3 helicopters, three initial attack crews, local incident management team 

WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED…   
Waterton Lakes National Park and the Waterton townsite are open. Parks Canada has closed the Bison Paddock overlook which includes access to Horseshoe Trail. This closure is in effect to facilitate helicopter operations. Bertha Lake Trail, the Lakeshore Trail and the Bertha Lake and Bertha Bay Backcountry Campgrounds remain closed due to wildfire activity in the area. 

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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