Waterton Lakes National Park under evacuation notice due to wildfires

Aug 24 2018, 4:28 pm

This might put a damper on that late summer camping trip.

According to a release from the Government of Canada, Waterton Lakes National Park (yes, the entire park) has been put on an evacuation notice due to a nearby wildfire.

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The notice is not an order, so no one has to up and leave just yet, though that may very well be a possibility as the Boundary Creek Valley fire is “currently burning out of control,” according to the notice.

The alert was issued just before 11 pm Thursday night and states that anyone in the area should ready themselves for evacuation as the alert could change into an order at a moments notice.

A webcam set up in the park shows a hazy image of the area, likely due to the heavy smoke from the fire.

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Waterton Lakes National Park webcam as of 10:30 am August 24 (watertonlive.com)

The release also provided a list of suggestions for anyone residing in the alert area:

• Locate all family members or co-workers and designate which Reception Centre or location outside the evacuation area you will meet up at, should an evacuation be called while separated;
• Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e. insurance), immediate care needs for dependents and, if you choose, keepsakes (photographs, etc). Have these items readily available for quick departure;
• Prepare to move any disabled persons, children and pets and/or livestock;
• Arrange to transport your household members or co-workers in the event of an evacuation order, including ensuring the transportation is fueled up. If you need transportation assistance please advise the individual providing notice of the evacuation, any park staff or RCMP;
• Arrange accommodation for your family if possible. In the event of an evacuation, Reception Centres will be opened if required;
• Monitor news sources for information on evacuation orders and locations of Reception Centres;
• Further information will be issued should the situation change. (Or, visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/index);
• Move firewood piles, lumber, trailers, storage sheds as far away as possible from your homes;
• Store patio furniture and decorative pieces away from your home when you are not around.

If an order is issued, residents will be given notice either in person or over the phone, and will then need to leave the park within one hour of the formal notice.

Fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that, but being ready to go is definitely recommended.