Sunday, 10 September 2017 13:21

Waterton fire even more intense (update as of 12:30 p.m. Sunday)

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RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters mans the barricade as a Coaldale and District Emergency Services truck makes its way into the park entrance Friday following an evacuation order due to the Kenow fire that threatens Waterton Lakes National Park and Waterton townsite. RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters mans the barricade as a Coaldale and District Emergency Services truck makes its way into the park entrance Friday following an evacuation order due to the Kenow fire that threatens Waterton Lakes National Park and Waterton townsite. Lethbridge Herald photo by Ian Martens

The Unified Command of Parks Canada and emergency services says as of early Sunday afternoon the fire's intensity is just beginning Sunday:


Kenow Fire  - Unified Command -  September 10; 12:30hr
FIRE MOVEMENT AND BEHAVIOUR
·        The fire is approximately 9,400 hectares in size. From Saturday morning to Sunday morning it moved southeast 5 km along the Akamina Valley. Weather conditions causing intense fire behaviour is expected Sunday through Tuesday.   
·        Approximately three spot fires have ignited in the Tamarack Basin, south of Festubert Mountain in Waterton today. Helicopters are bucketing water on these spot fires. Crews bucketed South Kootenay Pass earlier this morning.   
·        Wildfire could reach Akamina Pass today. Crews will conduct an aerial ignition in the Akamina Valley to steer the fire and reduce the potential for ember spotting in Waterton, if conditions allow. 
·        Intense fire behaviour and smoke is hampering visibility and fire suppression. 
·        Alberta Wildfire continues to bucket with water, foam and retardant on the fire’s north flank. 
·        Parks Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry have established unified command to integrate common objectives, and to coordinate resources and efforts.
·        Resources are fully in place to protect infrastructure and facilities in the Waterton townsite.
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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