Wildfire growing in Kootenay park

A growing wildfire is currently being fought in Kootenay National Park

A growing wildfire is currently being fought in Kootenay National Park and has resulted in the closure of parts of a popular trail in the area.

Parks Canada fire crews responded to reports of fire on Numa Pass, on the north side of Numa Creek, around noon on Thursday, July 25th.

Two helicopters were used to contain the fire to a hectare and a half (a hectare is roughly the size of two football fields) by Thursday evening and the helicopters and Initial Attack crews continued efforts to keep the blaze under control on Friday, July 26th. Smoke has been highly visible along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park ever since.

The fire continued to burn over the weekend, growing to 2.5 hectares. The Initial Attack crews were pulled off the fire due to the difficult terrain and steep slopes in the area.

Gusty overnight winds associated with thunderstorms in the area had pushed the fire to 50 hectares in size by Monday, July 29th. Active fire and open flames were visible from Highway 93 during the night.

Parks Canada fire crews were still monitoring the blaze with helicopters as of press time and may look at alternate suppression techniques if the fire gets worse.

The entire Numa Creek drainage has been closed as a result of the fire, including Numa Creek campground and the adjoining sections of Kootenay National Park’s renown Rockwall trail, as well as the Numa Creek trail, which connects Highway 93 to the Rockwall. Through-hiking the 55 kilometre-long Rockwall trail is currently impossible.

Since Tumbling Creek trail, another trail connecting Highway 93 to the Rockwall trail, has been closed since 2012 because of a bridge washout, the only current access from the highway to the Rockwall trail is on the Helmet Creek trail (which goes to the Rockwall’s far north end) or Floe Lake trail (which goes to the Rockwall’s far south end). Hikers still wishing to visit the Rockwall will have to do out-and-back hikes on these two remaining access trails. There is potential for long-term closure of the trail depending on seasonal weather patterns and increased fire behaviour.

 

People with smoke sensitivity problem may want to avoid the area

altogether.

 

Lightning from storms that occurred early last week likely started the fire.

The fire danger level in Parks Canada’s Lake Louise-Yoho-Kootenay field unit has been elevated to high. There is no fire ban for the field unit but park authorities are asking visitors to keep campfires in designated areas and ensure any fires are fully extinguished before leaving their site.

Since smoke from the fire may affect visibility, drivers on Highway 93 should exercise caution. People wanting to stop and take a look at the smoke should pull over and stop in a safe location.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read